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Place of the faithful and 


Place of the Prostrates 

Hearers Station 



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LJ Weepers Station Q 

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A — The bishop's throne in the centre of the apse, with stalls on either 
side for the clergy. 

B B — The sanctuary, or adytum. 

C — The altar, supported on four pillars. 

D — The sanctuary gates, or holy doors. 

£ £ — The altar rails, called also iconostasis from the sacred icons, or 
images, that used to be placed there. The entire space within these 
rails was called the chancel, from a low, net-work partition which sepa- 
rated it from the rest of the church, called in Latin cancelli. 

p The prothesis, or cruet-table, veiled in by a screen. 

Q — The diaconicum, or sacristy, generally in charge of a deacon. 

\\ — The place of the male portion of the congregation, and of that 
class of Public Penitents known as the Costanders. 

| — The ambo, where the Epistle and Gospel were chanted and the 
diptychs read. 

K — The Beautiful Gates (port* speciosse), so called from the beauty 
of their workmanship. Here a subdeacon stood to see that the congre- 
gation departed in order. Between | and K was the place of the Pros* 
trate Penitents. 

L — The second porch, or narthex; also the Hearers* Station. 

M — The Baptisterium. 

N— The Great Gates. 

— The first porch and Weepers' Station. 

P — Place of the females, separated by a partition from the male poiv 
tion of the congregation, and under the surveillance of what were called 
in the ancient Church deaconesses. Men of note used to be sometimes 
buried in the porch or narthex. 

The precise location of the catechumens is a disputed point; but in- 
asmuch as the name was very often employed in that extended sense, 
meaning all who were forbidden to be present at Divine Service proper, 
it is generally supposed that they intermingled with the Penitents i* 
the portico. 

History of the Mass 















c/3 ; 

"I would be willing to lay down my life for a single one of tlwft eremonigfl* 

of the Church."— St. Teresa. 






W- 3 LL 

«. / - . t '/ 


New York, March 25, 1879. 

A new work, entitled " A History of the Mass and its Ceremonies in 
the Eastern and Western Church," by the Rev. John O'Brien, of Mount 
St. Mary's College, Emmittsburg, having been carefully examined and 
commended by competent judges, is hereby approved by us. 

•J* JAMES, Archbishop of Baltimore. 

Baltimore, Feast op St. Benedict, 1879. 

Copyright, 1879, by John O'Bbien. 


As the question will doubtless be asked why we have 
presumed to write upon a subject which has already been 
treated so largely and so often by others, we make the 
same reply that one of the ancient Fathers did when a 
similar question was proposed to him. " This advan- 
tage," said he, "we owe to the multiplicity of books on 
the same subject : that one falls in the way of one man, 
and another best suits the level or comprehension of an- 
other. Everything that is written does not come into 
the hands of all, and hence, perhaps, some may meet 
with my book who have heard nothing of others which 
have treated better of the same subject." 

Although it cannot be gainsaid that the subject which 
we have undertaken to touch has been largely treated 
already, and that by more eminent writers than we, still, 
when it is borne in mind that all those learned treatises 
have been written in one or other of the dead languages, 
and that, too, more for the sake of embellishing some 
public institution or library than for the enlightenment 
of the masses of the people, we think we owe no apo- 

vi Preface, 

logy for writing a book of the present nature in English 
suited to the capacity of all. Another advantage, too, 
that our book has over any other which has hitherto 
appeared is this: that it does not confine itself to the 
ceremonies and liturgical customs of any church in par- 
ticular, such as the Latin or the Greek, but gives the 
reader a general survey of all the churches of the East 
and West where a true Sacrifice of the Mass really 
exists. It therefore comprehends in its scope several 
churches which have long been separated from the centre 
of unity. 

We wish our readers further to understand that the 
information embodied in these pages has been taken from 
the most approved sources, and but in a few cases, and 
these of minor note, taken second-hand. Where there 
was a doubt we have expressed it, and whenever we 
found ourselves obliged to copy the remarks of an au- 
thor upon whom we could place but little reliance we 
have always noted the fact, in order not to give as cer* 
tain what was at best but doubtful, and thus be made 
responsible for statements which could not stand the test 
of criticism. 

We wish to remark, also, that our work has not been 
given to the public in undue haste. It has been com- 
piled with a great deal of care and calm deliberation, 
and has been written over and over again, with new cor- 
rections and additions each time, in order that nothing 
might be asserted without proof and nothing stated at 

Preface. ytt 

random ; and although we have not followed to the let- 
ter the advice of the pagan poet to keep it in our 
drawer unto the ninth year, yet we can assure our read- 
ers of this much at least : that seven years of earnest 
and anxious labor have been expended on it. There is 
hardly a writer on sacred liturgy that we have not con- 
sulted; certainly we have passed over no one of any 
note; and in order that our readers, should they feel so 
inclined, may be enabled to collate our remarks with 
the sources from which we have drawn them, besides 
giving our authorities through the work, we have deemed 
it well also to attach an alphabetical list of them to the 
end of our treatise. 

Regarding the order of the subject-matter, we have only 
to say that we have endeavored to treat each particular 
portion as fully as possible by itself, without running one 
part into another, and thus embarrassing the reader; and 
in order to aid the latter still more, we have appended 
so copious an index of words that it serves, in a measure, 
as a sort of compendium to the entire work. 

As to the book's originality, we humbly confess that it 
is not new; and this confession we make, not through 
fear of running counter to what the Wise Man says, that 
" there is nothing new under the sun," but simply be- 
cause we wish our readers to lay more stress upon the 
fact that it is a compilation of what the most learned 
writers have said upon the subject in hand rather than 
any effort of our own. Our book, then, can be called 

viii Preface. 

original only in bo far as its name and the arrangement 
of parte a/e concerned. The labor of all this is ours, and 
ours only; ms for the rest, we say in all sincerity with 
Montaigne : " I have here only made a nosegay of culled 
flowers, and ha^e brought nothing of my own but the 
string that ties them." 


We have cabled our book A History of the Mass and 
its Ceremonies in the Eastern and Western Church, At 
first sight it seems an easy matter to hit upon such a 
title as this, but we assure the reader that it did not 
seem so to us. Many an hour of serious meditation it 
cost us before we had satisfied ourselves that the de- 
signation was a happy one ; and all this principally on 
account of the appellations of Eastern and Western 
Church, Almost every book that we take in hands— 
certainly every book of travels — has something to say 
•about the Eastern Church and its liturgical customs ; 
yet we candidly confess that we have never met with 
one which told us with any degree of satisfaction or 
clearness what this Eastern Church was, or which did 
not blunder from beginning to end in attempting to 
describe its ceremonies. Some are perpetually confound- 
ing the Eastern Church with the Greek Church, and 
the latter with the Russian, wholly forgetting that out 
of Greece itself no Greek Church exists, and that the 

Preface. ix 

Russian Church is no more Greek than it is English 
or Irish. Others imagine that by the Eastern Church 
is meant that which is included within the Patriarchate 
of Constantinople ; but this, after all, would be only a 
fraction of the East, for it would leave out both the 
Greek Church proper and the Eussian Church, each 
of which is wholly independent of Constantinople 
and independent the one of the other. We have met 
some even who have gravely committed it to writ- 
ing that by the Eastern Church is meant the Syrian 
and all its branches. Then add to this those never- 
ending and high-sounding titles that are constantly 
dinning our ears and seen at the head of almost every 
review that we take in hand, such as "Holy Orthodox 
Church," " Orthodox Imperial Church," " Orthodox 
Church of the East," "Holy Eastern Church," and so on 
ad indefinitum ; each, no doubt, meaning something, but 
quite unintelligible without much explanation. The fact 
Is that since the fall of Constantinople, in 1453, there 
has existed no national church, if we except the Maro- 
aite alone, to which the appellation of Eastern could, 
with strictness, be given ; and it is but too well known 
that the correlative appellation of Western Church went 
into desuetude centuries before that time. The two de- 
signations originally sprang up naturally and necessarily 
from the division of Constantine's empire in the fourth 
century, into that of the East, with Constantinople aa 
its capital, and that of the West, with Rome. Strictly 

X Preface. 

speaking, then, there are no such organizations now 
as the Eastern and Western Church, and here was 
our difficulty in choosing a title. "How, then," some- 
body will say, " can you justify the name of your 
book ? " The question is answered in this way : If the 
book were a history, or a geography, or anything of that 
nature, it could not be justified at all, it would be a 
misnomer ; but inasmuch as it is confined solely to eccle- 
siastical ceremonies and customs, all of which are the 
same to-day, with scarcely a perceptible difference, as 
they were when a real Eastern and Western Church ex- 
isted, it cannot mislead as to its meaning, nor can it be 
said of it that it has been unaptly chosen. But it can be 
justified upon other grounds : Although the Catholic 
Church recognizes no Church to-day to which she gives 
the name of Eastern in its original acceptation, still it 
must not be forgotten that she has at this time several 
within her communion whose location is wholly in the 
East, and which yet retain all their ancient ceremonies 
and customs. The Maronite Church is one of these. It 
celebrates Mass and the Divine Office in Syriac ; ad- 
ministers Holy Communion in both kinds to the laity; 
has a married clergy, and enjoys the privilege of elect- 
ing its own patriarch. The Chaldean Church is another 4 
it says Mass in the ancient Syro-Chaldaic ; uses leav- 
ened bread in the Holy Eucharist ; has a married clergy 
also ; and, like all the other churches of the East, is 
under the immediate jurisdiction of a patriarch. Then 

Preface. xi 

tt»ere is the Church of the Uniat or Melchite Greeks ; it 
still celebrates in the ancient Greek ; like the Maronite 
and Chaldean, it has a married clergy ; like them, also, 
it administers Holy Communion under both species, and 
enjoys the singular privilege of reciting the Creed, even 
in presence of the Pope himself, without being obliged 
to add the celebrated " Filioque." These are but a few 
of the many churches in the East which still retain 
their ancient ceremonies and customs; but as we shall 
have frequent occasion to refer to them again in course 
of the present work, this passing notice must suffice 


Our duty would be but half discharged did we pass 
by unnoticed the Oriental Schismatic Church, which 
forms so large a part of Eastern Christendom and runs 
side by side with the Catholic Church in all the Eastern 
regions. This Church may be thus divided : Firsts 
into the Church of the Eussian Empire ; secondly, into 
that within the Turkish Empire, with Constantinople as 
capital ; thirdly, into the Church of the kingdom of 
Greece. We ask the reader to bear this division care- 
fully in mind, for numberless mistakes are made for want 
of due attention to it, and to remember at the same 
time that all these churches are wholly independent of 
one another, in temporals as well as in spirituals ; and 

xii Preface, 

that they hold no intercommunion whatever, unless in so 
far as common charity or civility would dictate. The 
Church of the Eussian Empire, at one time under the 
immediate control of the Archbishop of Moscow, and 
subsequently ruled by a patriarch, is now at the sole 
mercy of the " Holy Synod of St. Petersburg," and, though 
it would scorn to avow it, is to all intents and purposes 
a tool in the hands of the Czar, for without his sanc- 
tion no change in the existing order of things can be 
made — not even can a council be convoked without first 
humbly asking his permission. This church uses the 
same liturgies and ceremonies as the Greek Church, and 
agrees with it in every point of discipline, save that it 
says Mass in the Sclavonic language. 

The church within the Turkish Empire is made up 
of the four Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, 
Antioch, and Jerusalem. Constantinople, the headquar- 
ters of the Ottoman Empire, is also the chief patriarchal 
seat, and still rejoices in the proud title of New Eome. 
The Sultan is virtually the head of this church, and, 
though they would fain deny it, its bishops and patri- 
archs are forced to confess that he is the supreme and 
final arbiter in every important dispute. Of so vast an 
extent is this division of the Eastern Church that it in- 
cludes within its limits people who celebrate Mass in 
nine different languages — viz., in Latin, Greek, Syriac, 
Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Chaldean, Sclavonic, and 

Preface. xiil 

The Church of the kingdom of Greece, though nomi- 
nally governed by the Synod of Athens, is as much a 
creature of the state as that of Constantinople or Kus- 
gia, for it depends for its entire movement and being 
upon the will of the reigning monarch. It acknow- 
ledges no submission whatever to Constantinople, nor to 
any other branch of the Eastern Church. 

Although these three great divisions of the Oriental 
Church include within their pale several churches which 
are both heretical and schismatical at the same time, 
still, as far as validity of orders is concerned, the 
Holy See has expressed her doubt of none save of the 
Abyssinian. The so-called Eastern Church has, therefore, 
a true priesthood, a true sacrifice of the Mass, and valid 
sacraments; hence its claim to our attention. But it has 
another claim which ought not to be passed by unnoticed 
here ; its singular devotion to the ever-blessed Mother of 
God. This may be considered the great redeeming fea- 
ture of the Eastern Church, and it is to be hoped that, 
in consideration of it, she whose glorious prerogative it 
is to destroy all heresies in the Church may, by her 
powerful intercession at the throne of her Divine Son, 
establish a lasting union between the East and West, so 
that Christ's Yicar may sing once more, as he sang at 
the Council of Florence, " Let the heavens rejoice and 
the earth burst forth In songs of gladness." 

In concluding our Preface we beg leave to remark 
that no attempt whatever at what is called style has 

xir Preface 

been made in the following pages. Our aim has been, 
from beginning to end, to give the reader plain facts, 
with little or no dressing, and to keep steadily in view 
that golden advice of St. Augustine, to wit, that it is 
better to endure blame at the hands of the critics than say\ 
anything which the people might not understand — " Me- 
lius est reprehendant nos grammatici, quam non intelli- 
gent populi " (ad Ps. cxxxviii.) 

Whatever we have stated may be relied upon—if not 
relied upon as absolutely true, yet at least in tha sense 
that it is a faithful rendering of the views of the author 
from whom it was taken. Further than this it would 
not be fair to hold us responsible. J. «VB. 

Mt. St. Mart's Collkgk, Emmittsbubo, Martlakd, 

Feat* tof the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1818. 



Brief Dissertation on the Principal Liturgies in Use in 

the East and the West at the Present Day, . . xix 

The Mass— Origin of the Word, 1 

Sacred Vestments, 35 

Sacred Vessels, 69 

Chalice Linens, 83 

The Manner of Reserving the Blessed Sacrament, ... 87 

Incense, ••••92 

Sacred Music and Musical Instruments, . . • • • 95 

S?i Contents. 



The Varying Rites within the Church, 103 

The Altar, 113 

Relics, 121 

Crucifixes and Crosses, 12g 

u sMs, 132 

The Tabernacle, 1 37 

The Missal. . . « OA 

Bells, . 


Bread used for Consecration, 153 

Wine. . 


Contents. xvii 



Number of Masses that a Priest may say upon the Same Day, . 168 

Concelebration, 173 

Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass, • « • . 176 

The Celebration of Mass— The Introit, 195 

The Sermon, 241 

The Celebration of Mass— The Creed, 249 

The Celebration of Mass— -The Offertory, .... 266 

The Celebration of Mass— The Preface, 288 

The Celebration of Mass — The Canon, 295 

The Celebration of Mass — The Consecration, .... 324 

xviii Contents. 



The Celebration of Mass— The Pater Noster, .... 355 

The Celebration of Mass— Communion of the People, . .369 


Principal Liturgies in use in the East and West at the 
Present Day. 

For the better understanding of the matter treated of in 
the following pages we deem it well to give the reader a 
brief account of the Liturgies in use in the Eastern and 
Western Church at the present day. 

To give anything like a full history of the various Eastern 
Liturgies would, indeed, be a very laborious undertaking, 
and, we have serious reasons to fear, a very unsuccessful one 
also, for their name is legion — the Jacobites alone using as 
many as forty. We shall, therefore, wholly confine ourselves 
to such as are in general and daily use, and leave the rest to 
be treated of by those writers who make pure Liturgy the 
burden of their writing. 

It would not be very bold to assert that the only living 
Liturgies in free circulation throughout the East at the pre- 
sent day are those of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the 
Great. Both of these are used now in their entirety, such 
as they were when they came from the hands of the great 
men whose names they bear ; and this can be said of none of 
the other Eastern Liturgies. The Liturgy of St. Basil is 
very often called the Caesarean Office, from the fact that its 
author was Bishop of Caesarea, in Cappadocia. It is the 


A brief Dissertation on the Principal Liturgies. 

parent of the Armeno- Gregorian Kite. The Liturgy of St. 
Chrysostom is usually inscribed " the Divine Liturgy of our 
Holy Father among the Saints, John of the Golden Mouth." 
From this many of the later forms in use among the Nesto- 
rians are derived. The Liturgy of St. James, first Bishop of 
Jerusalem, is very frequently spoken of in connection with 
the Maronites and Syrians, but it is a well-known fact that 
the living Liturgies of both these peoples have little more 
of St. James's in them than a few shreds. The Maro- 
nites are very fond of referring their Liturgy to that vene- 
rable norma because it has the impress of antiquity, it being 
the general opinion of liturgical writers that it is the oldest 
in existence ; but in reality their Liturgy as it stands now is 
nothing else but a collection of excerpta taken from other 
Liturgies, and as often called by the name of St. John Maro 
as by that of St. James the Apostle. The fact is that, if we 
except the Church of Jerusalem and a few islands in the 
Archipelago which employ it on certain occasions, the Litur- 
gy of St. James has no circulation to-day in its original 
form anywhere. The same may be said of the Liturgy of St. 
Mark, at one time in exclusive use throughout the Patriarchate 
of Alexandria, and, in fact, of every other primitive Liturgy 
known ; so that we repeat what we stated at the outset, that 
the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the 
Great have almost undisturbed sway in the East to-day. 
They are used by Catholics and schismatics alike. Dr. 
Neale attributes all this to the influence of Balsamon, Ca- 
tholic Patriarch of Antioch in the beginning of the thir- 
teenth century, who, it appears, went heart and soul for 
shaping everything Eastern by the standard of the New 
Rome. Although Neale speaks somewhat disparagingly of 
this learned prelate, still, as he tells the story in full of how 
the Liturgies of Constantinople made their way into the 
East, we give his words without change of any kind. He 

A brief Dissertation on the Principal Liturgies. xxi 

speaks as follows : " Of the normal Liturgies, those of St. 
James and St. Mark were used by the churches of Antioch 
and Alexandria, respectively, till the time of Theodore Bal- 
samon. This prelate was a complete Oriental Ultramon- 
tane; everything was to be judged by and squared to the 
rule of Constantinople. The Bellarmine or Orsi of the 
Eastern Church, he was for abolishing every formulary not 
adopted by the oecumenical patriarch, and endeavored suc- 
cessfully to intrude the forms of Constantinople on the 
whole East. Consulted by Mark of Alexandria as to the 
degree of authority which attached to the Liturgies of St. 
James and St. Mark, he wholly condemns them as not 
mentioned by Holy Scripture or the Canons, 'but chiefly 
because,' says he, 'the Catholic Church of the most holy 
oecumenical throne of Constantinople does in nowise ac- 
knowledge them.' The way in which Balsamon treats these 
offices, more venerable than his own, and that in which 
Eome has abrogated the Gallican and Mozarabic missals, 
are surely marvellously alike. From that time the Constan- 
tinopolitan Liturgies of St. Basil and St. Chrysostom have 
prevailed over the whole orthodox East, except that the 
Office of St. James is used in the Church of Jerusalem and 
m some of the islands of the Archipelago on the festival of 
that Apostle " {History of the Holy Eastern Church, General 
Introduction, vol. i. p. 318). 

To enter, then, into more specific detail, the Liturgy of 
St. Chrysostom is used, first, by the Russian Church in the 
empire of Russia itself and throughout all the imperial 
dominions ; not, indeed, in its Greek form, but in the 
Sclavonic, for that is the liturgical language in all those 
parts. It is also used in the kingdom of Greece and its 
dependencies, and has universal sway among the Mingre- 
iians, Wallachians, Ruthenians, Rascians, Bulgarians, and 
Albanians, as well as with all the Uniat or Melchite Greeks 

xxii A brief Dissertation on the Principal Liturgies. 

of the four Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, 
Antioch, and Jerusalem. The United Greeks of Italy and 
those of the Austrian Empire use it also. 

Together with this Liturgy, m all the places mentioned, 
runs that of St. Basil the Great, but it is not called as often 
into requisition. The Liturgy of St. Chrysostom is employed 
throughout the entire year, on week-days as well as on Sun- 
days and festivals, with the following exceptions : viz., the 
vigils of Christmas and the Epiphany, the Feast of St. Basil 
(January 1), all the Sundays of Lent except Palm Sunday, 
Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday. On these excepted oc- 
casions the Liturgy of St. Basil is used, and on the ferial 
days of Lent the service of the Presanctified— called also the 
Presanctified Liturgy—is used instead of both. 


The Liturgies of the Western, or Latin, Church need no* 
thing more at our hands than a passing notice ; for, with the 
exception of one or two normas, which are better called rites 
than Liturgies— viz., the Ambrosian and Mozarabic— the So- 
man has undisturbed and universal sway. Of the two ex- 
ceptions named— the former peculiar to the ancient Church 
of Milan, the latter confined to the city of Toledo, in Spaii? 
— a full account is given in another part of our work, so that 
more need not be said of them here. As for the so-called 
Gallican and Lyonese Liturgies, they are now things of the 
past. The few vestiges that yet remain to tell that they 
had at one time a place in the Church will be noticed in due 
course ; as will also the fragments that are left us of the 
celebrated Eite of Sarum, which at one time formed the 
chief glory of the English Church. 

In concluding our dissertation we beg leave to direct the 
reader's attention to the following important fact: viz., 

A brief Dissertation on the Principal Liturgies, xxm 

that throughout the entire East the word Liturgy (from 
the Greek Ultov, public, and epyov, a work) means 
always the norma of the Mass, and no more ; but in the 
West it is the complexus of all the rites and ceremonies 
that are used by the Church in the administration of the 
Sacraments and in all her sacred offices. It is well to keep 
this in mind, for some are perpetually confounding Liturgy 
and Rubrics, thinking that both mean one and the same 
thing. There is about the same difference between them as 
between mathematics and arithmetic. The one includes the 
other and a great deal more besides. The Rubrics, accord- 
ing to the primitive acceptation of the word, are nothing 
but the directions given in red letters for the due per- 
formance of any particular ceremony ; when reduced to a 
regular system or science they are the elucidation of these 
directions, and nothing more. But the aim of Liturgy is of 
a far more comprehensive and elevated nature, for it takes 
in everything that is in any way connected with the sacred 
functions of the Church. 



As to the origin of the word Mass liturgical writers are 
not entirely agreed. According to some, it comes from the 
Hebrew "mwa," Massah, a debt or obligation; others 
derive its name from the Greek " fAvrjoiS" Myesis, initia- 
tion ; whilst a third class maintain that it is nothing else 
but an improved form of the old obsolete Mes or Messe; 
which, with the people of Northern Europe, meant a ban- 
quet or convivial gathering, and not unfrequently also a 

The great body, however, of liturgical writers are in favor 
of deriving it from the Latin " Missa" or " Missio," a dis- 
missal, referring to the custom in vogue during the first five 
or six centuries of the Christian Church — when the Disci- 
plina Arcani, or Discipline of the Secret,* prevailed — of dis- 

1 From the same root are the affixes in such words as Christmas, ChUdermcu 
Michaelmas, Lammas, etc. (Holy Days of the English Church, p. 154). 

9 The Disciplina Arcani, or Discipline of the Secret, was a law enforced by the early 
Christian Church, in virtue of which the principal mysteries of our holy faith weit 
concealed from pagans, infidels, and all who had not been regenerated by the saving 
waters of baptism ; and this in accordance with the solemn admonition of our Divina 
Lord himself not to cast pearls before swine or give what was holy to dogs (Matt. vii. 
6). This discipline prevailed in the Eastern Church until the end of the fifth century, 
and in the Western until about the middle of the sixth (Ferraris, art. Discip. Arcani, 

% The Mass— Origin of the Word, Etc. 

missing the Catechumens* and Public Penitents 4 from the 
house of God before the more solemn part of divine service 

From the twofold dismissal — viz., that of the Catechu- 
mens at the beginning of Mass, and the other, of the faith- 
ful, at the end — the entire service used to be known by the 
plural appellations of Missce or Missiones (that is, the dis- 
missals) ; and hence the import of such phrases so often to 
be met with in the writings of the early Fathers, as * ' inter 
Missarum solemnia," " Missas facere," and " Missas tenere." 
Hence, also, the twofold division known as the " Mass of 
the Catechumens" and the "Mass of the Faithful," the 
former extending from the beginning to the Offertory, the 
latter from the Offertory to the end. 


One of the strongest arguments against the Hebrew origin 
of the word Mass is that none of the Oriental Fathers ever 
made use of Massah, but always employed a different word. 
With them it was styled indifferently by the following 
names : Mystagogia, By n axis, Anaphora, Eulogia, Hierur- 
gia, Mysterion, Deipnon, Teleion, Agathon, Prosphora, and 

It was called Mystagogia by St. Dionysius, from the fact 

8 Catechumen, from the Greek Kar^x"^ I teach by word of month. Under the de- 
nomination of Catechumens came all those who were undergoing instructions at the 
hands of catechists previous to their reception of baptism. According to the most 
generally received opinion, there were two orders of Catechumens : the Hearers, or thos© 
who merely expressed a wish to become Christians ; and the Elect or Competent, who 
had passed through the course of training that was necessary for the reception of 

4 Of the Public Penitents there were four distinct classes, viz.: the Weepers, whose 
place was in the porch, or first narthex ; the Hearers, who stood in the second narthex ; 
the Prostrates, whose place was near the ambo ; and the Costanders, who stood with 
the faithful in the upper part of the nave. (See frontispiece.) 

Different Kinds of Mass, 3 

that it was a divine participation of, or initiation into, the 
sacred mysteries. It was termed Synaxis, or the union, 
because in virtue of it we are all united with Christ our 
Saviour. The name Anaphora was applied to it from the 
fact that it raises our minds and hearts to God. The term 
Eulogia was given it from its propitiatory nature ; Hierur- 
gia, because it was a sacred action ; Mysterion, from the mys- 
teries it contained ; and Deipnon, or banquet, from the fact 
that it gave us the living Bread unto the eternal nourish- 
ment of our souls. Then, again, it was called Teleion, or 
perfection, because it was the sacrifice of that Holy Lamb, 
without spot or blemish, who came upon earth to be the 
perfection and completion of the ancient law. Its name 
Agathon, or good, was given it because it is the only lasting 
good upon which man can count ; and from the fact that it 
finally conducts us to the happy end for which we were 
created, the appellation of Prosphora was given it also. 01 
all these names enumerated, that of Liturgia was most 
frequently used, and is exclusively used at the present day 
throughout the entire East. 


From the various circumstances attending the celebration 
of Mass, from the ceremonies 6 employed, and the peculiar 
end for which it is offered, different names have been given 
to qualify it, such as Solemn High Mass, Simple High Mass, 
Low Mass, Conventual Mass, Bridal or Nuptial Mass, Golden 
Mass, Private Mass, Solitary Mass, Votive Mass, Dry Mass, 

* The word ceremony owes its origin to a singular circumstance. When Rome was 
sacked by the Gauls, the Vestal Virgins, in order to escape with their lives and preserve 
their honor, fled the city, carrying with them all their sacred utensils, and repaired to the 
ancient city of Caere, in Tuscany. Here they received a most cordial reception, and 
here they remained until quietness reigned at Rome. To perpetuate the kind hospi- 
tality of the people of Ceere towards the Vestals, the sacred rites, and all pertaining 
to them, were called ceremonies ever after (Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr Bit.. 2). 

4 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc*, 

Evening and Midnight Mass, Mass of the Presanctified, Mass 
of Requiem, and Mass of Judgment. 

Solemn High Mass. — When Mass is celebrated with 
deacon and subdeacon and a full corps of inferior min- 
isters, it is denominated a Solemn High Mass. In many 
places of Europe the name grand is given it on account of 
its ritualistic display. It is called high from the fact that 
the greater part of it is chanted in a high tone of voice. 
When there is neither deacon nor subdeacon ministering, a 
Mass of this kind receives the name of Simple High Mass, or 
Missa Cantata. 

Low Mass. — Low Mass is so called from its being said in 
a low tone of voice, in contradistinction to High Mass, which 
is chanted aloud. At a Mass of this kind the usual marks 
of solemnity are dispensed with. It is, in great part, read 
by the priest in an ordinary tone of voice, without any 
assistants save the server, who answers the responses in the 
name of the people and administers to the wants of the 

Conventual Mass. — Conventual Mass, strictly speaking, is 
that which the rectors and canons attached to a cathedral 
are required to celebrate daily after the hour of Tierce — that 
is, at about nine o'clock. 

According to several authorities of note, this Mass is also 
of obligation in convents where the Blessed Sacrament is 
kept, and even in rural churches which enjoy the same pri- 
vilege (De Herdt, i. 14). Conventual Mass is also known 
by the several names of Canonical, Public, Common, and 
Major. The last appellation is given it on account of the 
peculiar privileges it enjoys over ordinary Masses. 

Bridal or Nuptial Mass. — It has always been the wish of 
the Church that at the solemnization of holy matrimony 
Mass should, if possible, be offered in behalf of the newly- 
married couple, in order that Almighty God may bless their 

Different Kinds of Mass. 5 

union and favor them with a happy offspring. A special 
service is set apart in the Missal for this end, called in La- 
tin " Missa pro Sponso et Sponsa" — i.e., Mass for the Bride- 
groom and Bride — and the Mass itself is considered among 
the privileged, for it may be celebrated on days of great- 
er rite (Bouvry, Expositio Rubricarum, ii. 601). 

At a Mass of this kind a few ceremonies may be seen 
which are peculiar to it alone. As far as the " Pater Fos- 
ter " it differs in nothing from an ordinary Mass ; but when 
the priest has come to that part of the service immediately 
before the " Libera nos," he stands at the Epistle corner of 
the altar, and, having turned towards the bride and bride- 
groom, who are kneeling in front of him, reads over them 
from the Missal two prayers upon the nature and solemnity 
of their union. This being done, the bridal party retire to 
their places, and the Mass goes on as usual until the time 
of the last blessing. Here the priest turns round to the 
party again, and reads over them the following prayer : 
" The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of 
Jacob be with you ; may he shower his blessing upon you, 
that you may behold your children's children unto the third 
and fourth generation ; and may you enjoy afterwards eter- 
nal, unending life through the help of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth 
God, world without end. Amen." After this the priest is 
directed to admonish the newly-married pair of the mutual 
faith and love they owe each other, and of the obligations 
they are under to remain continent on those occasions that 
the Church has set apart for special prayer and fasting. 
They are finally exhorted to live in the fear of God. The 
priest then sprinkles them with holy water, and Mass con- 
cludes as usual. 

Bridal Mass according to the Sarum Rite. — According to 
the Sarum rite, of which we shall give a full account fur- 

6 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

ther on, Bridal Mass was celebrated with peculiar and inte- 
resting ceremonies. The marriage itself was performed at the 
church door, in order that all might witness it. From this 
the priest led up the married couple to the altar-steps, where 
he prayed over them and begged also the prayers of the peo- 
ple in their behalf. Mass was then begun, and the moment 
the "Sanctus" bell sounded the newly-married knelt near 
the foot of the altar, while some of the clerics of the sanc- 
tuary held over them a large pall commonly called the care 
cloth. This cloth was not removed until a little before the 
" Pax." The bride was required on this occasion to allow 
her hair to flow moderately upon her shoulders, and wear, 
if her circumstances allowed it, a wreath of jewels, or at 
least of flowers, upon her head.' 

The dress of Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII., 
King of England, when going to be married to King James 
of Scotland, is thus described by Pauper : " She had a varey 
riche coller of gold, of pyerrery and perles round her neck, 
and the cronne apon hyr hed, her hayre hangyng." Just 
before the "Pax" the priest turned round to the new couple 
and imparted the marriage blessing, after which the care 
cloth was removed. The " Pax " was then given according 
to the ancient mode, and not with the Pacifical. The bride- 
groom received it first from the priest at the altar, and then 
bestowed it on his spouse. After Mass bread and wine, hal- 
lowed by the priest's blessing, used to be distributed among 
all the friends of the newly-married couple who happened to 
be in church during the ceremonies. 

According to the rite followed at York, the nuptial bless- 
ing was generally given by the priest with the chalice, and 
this on account of the great dignity of the Sacrament of 
Matrimony. (The reader who wishes to see more upon this 
subject will do well to consult that excellent work of 

6 In mediaeval art the Blessed Virgin is always represented in this way. 

Different Kinds of Mass, 7 

Dr. Rock known as the Church of our Fathers, vol. lii. 
part 2, 172.) 

Golden Mass (Missa aurea).— Golden Mass was one that 
nsed to be celebrated formerly on the Wednesdays of the 
quarter tenses of Advent in honor of the Mother of God. 
It used to be a Solemn High Mass of the most gorgeous 
kind, and was often protracted three or four hours, in order 
to give full sway to the ceremonies and musical pieces em- 
ployed on the occasion. The bishop and all his canons 
assisted at it, as well as the members of the different reli- 
gious communities of the place where it was celebrated. It 
was customary, too, to distribute gifts, and those very often 
of the costliest kind, among the people who assisted at it ; 
and, from the nature and excellence of the mystery in honor 
of which it was offered, it used to be written in letters of gold, 
hence its name (Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Bit, 27 ; Bouvry, 
ii. 105). Traces of this Mass may be witnessed yet here and 
there through Germany ; but at the Church of St. Gudule, 
in Brussels, the regular Mass is celebrated every year on the 
23d of December. Thousands assist at it on this occasion. 

Private Mass. — Whenever the expression "Missa pri- 
vata " is used by the rubrics, Low Mass, in contradistinc- 
tion to High Mass, is always, or nearly always, meant. But 
by Private Mass we mean something entirely different. 
Strictly speaking, a Private Mass is one in which only the 
priest himself communicates (Gavantus, p. 29). It receives 
its name of private from the fact that no concourse of peo- 
ple assists at it, and that it is celebrated in some private ora- 
tory or chapel to which all have not access. According to 
the mind of the Council of Trent (session 22, chap. 6), 
no Mass is private in the Catholic acceptation of the word ; 
for all, whether private or public, are offered by a public 
minister of the Church, not for himself alone, but for the 
entire household of faith (ibidem). 

8 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc, 

And that Masses of this kind have been practised from 
the very days of the Apostles themselves the most indubi- 
table testimony proves ; although the heretics of the six- 
teenth century would fain have it that such Masses were un- 
heard of, nay, even forbidden, by the early Church. But 
Cardinal Bona shows to a demonstration that Private Masses 
have been in use always, and mentions, among others, the 
testimony of Tertullian, who lived away back in the sec- 
ond century, in proof of his assertion (Bona, Rer. Liturg., 
p. 231). 

The first daring attack made upon Masses of this kind was 
by the arch-heretic Luther himself, who declared that, in a 
conversation which he had had with the devil, it was re- 
vealed to him that such Masses were real idolatry (Bouvier, 
Theol Moral, iii. 224). 

To put an end to all cavil on this subject, the Holy 
Council of Trent, in its 22d session, canon 8, thus de- 
creed : " Si quis dixerit Missas in quibus solus sacerdos 
sacramentaliter communicat illicitas esse ideoque abrogan- 
das, anathema sit." That is, If any one shall say that 
those Masses in which only the priest communicates sacra- 
ment ally are illicit, and that hence they should be abolished, 
let him be anathema. 

Solitary Mass. — When Mass is said by a priest alone, 
without the attendance of people, or even of a server, it is 
called h Solitary Mass. Masses of this kind were once very 
common in monasteries and religious communities (Bona, 
p. 230), and they are still practised to a great extent in 
missionary countries. They cannot, however, be said with- 
out grave necessity ; for it is considered a serious offence by 
theologians to celebrate without a server, and this server 
must be always a male, never a female, no matter how 
pressing the necessity be. 

Strangely enough, Solitary Masses were forbidden in daye 

Different Kinds of Mass. 9 

gone by by several local councils, and this principally for 
the reason that it seemed ridiculous to say " Dominus vo- 
biscum," the Lord be with you j " Oremus," let us pray ; 
and " Orate fratres," pray, brethren, when there were 
no persons present. The Council of Mayence, held in 
the time of Pope Leo III. (a.d. 815), directly forbade a 
priest to sing Mass alone. The prohibition not merely to 
sing it, but to celebrate at all without witnesses, was re- 
peated by the Council of Nantes, and for the reasons 
alleged. Gratian cites a canon in virtue of which two wit- 
nesses at least were required for the due celebration of every 
Mass ; and this we find to be the rule among the early 

Cardinal Bona (Rer. Liturg., p. 230), from whom we copy 
these remarks, seems much in doubt as to whether Solitary 
Masses were wholly abrogated in his day. He instances, 
however, a well-known exception in case of a certain mo- 
nastery which enjoyed the privilege from the Holy See of 
celebrating without having any person to respond. 

According to the present discipline of the Church, when- 
ever necessity compels a priest to celebrate alone he must 
recite the responses himself, and otherwise act as if he had 
a full congregation listening to him. He must not omit, 
abridge, add, or change anything to suit the peculiar cir- 
cumstances of the occasion, but must do everything that 
the rubrics prescribe for ordinary Mass, and this under pain 
of sin. 

Votive Mass. — As every day in the year has a Mass more 
or less peculiar to itself, whenever this order is broken in 
upon the Mass introduced is denominated Votive. Rubri- 
cists define it as a Mass not in accordance with the office of 
the day ; and it receives its name Votive from the fact that 
it is celebrated to satisfy either the pious wishes of the 
priest himself or of some member of his congregation. 

10 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc, 

Masses of this kind are subject to various restrictions. 
They cannot be celebrated unless on days of minor rite, nor 
without a reasonable cause ; for the rubrics of the Missal are 
very explicit in saying, that, as far as can be done, the Mass 
ought to agree with the office of the day. St. Liguori says 
that a Votive Mass cannot be said merely on the plea that it 
is shorter than the Mass of the day, but that a more serious 
reason is required (Book vi., No. 419). A sufficient reason, 
however, would be if either the person asking such a Mass, 
or the person offering it, had a special devotion to some 
particular saint or mystery (De Herdt, i. 27). 

Dry Mass. — When neither the consecration nor consump- 
tion of either element takes place the Mass is said to be a 
Dry Mass. In ancient times the word Nautical was applied 
to it, from the fact of its being confined principally to 
voyages on sea, where the difficulty of celebrating ordinary 
Mass would be very great on account of the rolling of the 
vessel and other causes. In celebrating a Mass of this kind 
all the sacred vestments were allowed ; but, inasmuch as no 
consecration took place, the use of a chalice was forbidden. 
All those prayers which did not bear directly on the Offer- 
tory or Consecration could be recited, such as the opening 
psalm, the "Introit," "Kyrie eleison," "Gloria in excelsis," 
"Credo," Epistle and Gospel, as well as the "Preface." 
It was also allowed to impart the usual blessing at the end. 
It was customary, too, in some places to employ the services 
of deacon and subdeacon, in order to give it as solemn an air 
as possible. Genebrard, a Benedictine monk, who died to- 
wards the end of the sixteenth century, testifies that he him- 
self was present at a Solemn Dry Mass celebrated at Turin 
one evening for the repose of the soul of a certain nobleman 
who had just departed life. These Masses were often said 
for the special gratification of the sick who could not attend 
church on account of their infirmities ; also for prisoners, 

Different Kinds oj Mass, 11 

and, as has already been said, for seafaring people. But 
such Masses have long passed into desuetude. They are 
practised no more, and deservedly, for many well-meaning 
but simple-minded people were often led to put as much 
faith in their efficacy as in a real Mass (see Durandus, 
Rationale Divinorum, § par. 23 ; Bona, Ber. Liturg., 235,' 
236 ; and Gavantus, Thesaur. 8. Bit., 33). 

Evening Mass (Missa vesper tina). — In the time of St. 
Augustine (fifth century) it was customary throughout Af- 
rica to celebrate Mass on Holy Thursday evening in mem- 
ory of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament on that 
day. It used to be said by a priest who had already broken 
his fast (Martene, De Antiquis Eccl. Bitibus ; Bona, Ber. 
Liturg., 255). Touching this Mass the fourth Council of 
Carthage decreed as follows : " The Sacrament of the Altar 
must not be celebrated unless by a priest who is fasting, 
except on the anniversary of the institution of the Holy 
Eucharist. " 

Another custom, too, that prevailed in certain places 
was to say Mass for the dead at any time of the day that 
one of the faithful died, and this whether the priest had 
broken his fast or not (see article on the Offertorium of 
Masses for the Dead). But this practice was condemned 
almost as soon as its introduction by several councils, and 
among others by those of Carthage in Africa and Braga in 
Spain (Bona, 255). 

Evening Mass in the Eastern Church. — As the majority 
of the Oriental churches do not reserve the Blessed Eu- 
charist as we do, and this principally for the reason that 
leavened bread will soon corrupt in such climates as theirs, 
they are necessitated, in order to give the Holy Viaticum 
to the dying, to celebrate frequently in the evening, which, 
of course, they will do after having broken their fast. 

The Copts never reserve the Blessed Sacrament from one 

12 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

Mass to another, for reasons which we shall give when 
treating of Holy Communion, but will celebrate any hour 
of the day or night that they are called on to communi- 
cate the dying (Denzinger, Ritus Orientalium, p. 85). 

Midnight Mass. — Midnight Masses, and Nocturnal Masses 
generally, were very frequent during the days of persecution, 
when the Christians were forbidden to assemble anywhere 
in daytime. 

There were certain festivals, also, in later times for which 
Midnight Mass was prescribed, but all these privileges have 
long since been taken away, the only one remaining being 
that attached to Christmas, upon which night a Nocturnal 
Mass, as of old, is yet celebrated in many places. 

In the Eastern Church Midnight Mass has never been 
much in vogue. One of the most gorgeous displays, 
however, of ritual ever known is to be witnessed in Eus- 
sia at the Midnight Mass of Easter. As soon as twelve 
o'clock is announced all the bells of the Kremlin, whose 
number is legion, begin to toll, and they are immediately 
answered by all the other bells in Moscow. At the sound 
of these bells every inhabitant rises from sleep and repairs 
to church to hear the news of the risen Saviour. The whole 
city is in a blaze, for every window has a light, and a torch 
burns at the corner of every street. The great tower of the 
cathedral is illuminated from base to summit with myriads 
of lights, and lights burn in the hands of every man, wo- 
man, and child. The scene inside the different churches, 
but especially in the cathedral, defies description. The 
most costly vestments are used on this occasion, and 
neither labor nor expense is spared to make it worthy, in 
some way, of the great mystery it commemorates (Bur- 
der, Religious Rites and Ceremonies, p. 154). 

Mass of the Presanctified. — This Mass receives its name, 
Presanctified, from the fact that it is celebrated with a Host 

Different Kinds of Mass. 13 

consecrated on a previous occasion, and has no consecration 
of either element itself. In the Latin Church this Mass is 
celebrated but once a year— viz., on Good Friday— but in 
the Greek Church it is peculiar to every day in Lent ex- 
cept Saturdays, Sundays, and the Feast of the Annuncia- 
tion, when the regular Mass is offered (Goar, Euchologium 
Grcecorum, p. 205). This custom of not celebrating daily 
in the East during Lent is as old at least as the Council 
of Laodicea, held in a.d. 314. When the custom began in 
the Latin Church it is not easy to determine. Another dif- 
ference in discipline between the Latin and Greek Church in 
regard to this Mass is this : that in the former no Com- 
munion is given during the service, but in the latter it is 
customary to communicate always on such occasions. The 
service in the Russian Church is thus spoken of by 
Romanoff : 

" In the early days of the Christian Church the Fathers 
did not consider it seemly to celebrate the comforting 
feast on days of humiliation and mourning for sin, and 
permitted Mass to be sung on Saturdays and Sundays only 
during Lent, and on the Annunciation and Holy Thursday.* 
But as many pious Christians, accustomed to daily Com- 
munion, could not bring themselves to forego the strength- 
ening and refreshing of their souls by the Body and Blood 
of Christ, the holy Church granted them the indulgence of 
the Liturgy of Preconsecrated Elements, when the bread 
and wine consecrated on the Sunday preceding are adminis 

T Whether there is a regular service in the Greek Church on Holy Thursday, as on 
the three other days mentioned, we have been unable to find. Goar says nothing about 
It. In the Primitive Liturgies (Introduction, xxxvii., note), by Nealeand Littledale, a 
statement is made to the effect that the Liturgy of the Presanctified is not used on 
Holy Thursday at all, but only that of St. Basil, which is the one used also on Holy 
Saturday (Neale's Holy Eastern Church, vol. ii. p. 713). Whether we are to infer from 
this that the regular Mass is celebrated or not we are at a loss to determine ; but we 
strongly incline in favor of saying that it is not, for the Eastern canons only mention 
Saturdays, Sundays, and the Feast of the Annunciation. 

14 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

tered on Wednesdays and Fridays to those who desire them " 
(Komanoff, Rites and Customs of the Greco-Russian 
Church, p. 123). 

Mass of Requiem. — This is a Mass celebrated in behalf of 
the dead, and is subject almost to the same rules as a regular 
Votive Mass. If the body of the deceased be present dur- 
ing its celebration, it enjoys privileges that it otherwise 
would not, for it cannot be celebrated unless within certain 
restrictions. Masses of this kind are accustomed to be said 
in memory of the departed faithful, first, when the person 
dies — or, as the Latin phrase has it, " dies obitus seu depo- 
sitionis." which means any day that intervenes from the day 
of one's demise to his burial ; secondly, on the third day 
after death, in memory of our Divine Lord's resurrection 
after three days' interval ; thirdly, on the seventh day, in 
memory of the mourning of the Israelites seven days for 
Joseph ( Genesis 1. 10) ; fourthly, on the thirtieth day, in 
memory of Moses and Aaron, whom the Israelites lamented 
this length of time (Nuynl. xx. ; Deut. xxxiv.) ; and, finally, 
at the end of a year, or on the anniversary day itself (Ga- 
vant., Thesaur. Rit., 62). This custom also prevails with 
the Orientals. 

Mass of Judgment. — The Book of Numbers, in its fifth 
chapter, has special directions for establishing the guilt or 
innocence of the wife who, whether justly or unjustly, had 
fallen under the suspicion of her husband. She was first to 
be taken before the priest with an offering of barley. The 
priest " took her before the Lord," as the expression goes, 
and put into her hand holy water mingled with some of the 
dust of the floor of the tabernacle. In this solemn condition 
the nature and enormity of the charges preferred were clearly 
explained to her, and she was assured that, if guilty of them, 
the water she held in her hand would, when she drank it, 
cause her "belly to swell and her thigh to rot," and she 

Different Kinds of Mass, 15 

would be as a curse among the people ; but if she were in- 
nocent she had nothing to fear. This was called the trial 
by the "waters of jealousy" (see Bannister's Temples of the 
Hebrews, p. 305), from which, no doubt, we are to trace what 
we are now going to treat of — the Mass of Judgment. That 
Masses of this kind were at one time very common we can- 
not deny, but we can deny, and that most emphatically, that 
they ever had the free sanction of the Church. They were 
altogether local abuses, and, when permitted to go on, it was 
wholly because, under the pressing circumstances of the 
times, better could not be done. Dr. Lingard, in his History 
of the Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, ii. 130, thus 
speaks upon this subject : " Before I conclude this chapter 
I must notice an extraordinary practice which united the 
most solemn rites of religion with the public administration 
of justice. To elicit, in judicial proceedings, a truth from a 
mass of unsatisfactory and often discordant evidence de- 
mands a power of discrimination and accuracy of judgment 
which it were vain to expect from the magistrates of a 
nation just emerging from ignorance and barbarity. The 
jurisprudence of an illiterate people is generally satisfied 
with a shorter and more simple process. While the Anglo- 
Saxons adored the gods of their fathers, the decision of 
criminal prosecution was frequently entrusted to the wisdom 
of Woden. When they became Christians they confidently 
expected from the true Gk>d that miraculous interposition 
which they had before sought from an imaginary deity." 
A little further on the author thus describes what used to 
take place on such occasions : ' ' Three nights before the day 
appointed for the trial the accused was led to the priest ; 
on the three following mornings he assisted and made his 
offering at Mass ; and during the three days he fasted on 
bread, herbs, salt, and water. At the Mass on the third 
day the priest called him to the altar before the Communion, 

16 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

and adjured him by the God whom he adored, by the re- 
ligion which he professed, by the baptism with which he had 
been regenerated, and by the holy relics that reposed in the 
church, not to receive the Eucharist or go to the ordeal if 
his conscience reproached him with the crime of which he 
had been accused." The priest then administered Holy 
Communion with these words : " May this Body and Blood 
of our Lord Jesus Christ prove thee innocent or guilty this 
day." When Mass was finished the accused was again ex- 
pected to deny the charge and take the following oath : " In 
the Lord I am guiltless, both in word and deed, of the crime 
of which I am accused." Dr. Lingard remarks in a foot- 
note (p. 131) that the practice of ordeal prevailed among all 
the northern nations that embraced Christianity after the 
fifth century. But Masses of Judgment were by no means 
confined to the illiterate or to those newly emerging from 
barbarism. The most cultivated and civilized had recourse 
to them, and they were in vogue among some of the most 
refined nations of Europe. St. Cunegunda, wife of King 
Henry II. of Germany, proved herself innocent in this way 
of a charge of adultery. She went through the ordeal of 
walking over a number of red-hot ploughshares, from which 
she escaped unhurt (Butler's Lives of the Saints ; Gavantus, 
Thesaur. Sacr. Rit., p. 38). Queen Emma, mother of Ed- 
ward the Confessor, subjected herself to a similar test, in 
order to establish her innocence of a foul calumny circulated 
of her. Lingard, however, seems to discredit this latter 
story ; but authorities of good standing make mention of it 
(see the Month, February, 1874, p. 214, for full particulars). 
We have said that this practice of detecting crime by hav- 
ing immediate recourse to God through the holy sacrifice of 
the Mass was never directly sanctioned by the supreme 
authority of the Church, but only permitted because of the 
great difficulty and danger of eradicating it all at once. 

Days upon which Mass is not Celebrated. 1? 

Our proofs of this are the following : Pope Gregory the 
Great condemned it as far back as a.d. 592 ; it was con- 
demned expressly by the Council of Worms in 829, and 
Pope Nicholas I. repeated the condemnation upon his eleva- 
tion to the chair of St. Peter in 858 ; Pope St. Stephen 
condemned it, too, and so did several other popes and coun- 
cils (see Butler's Lives of the Saints and Alzog's Universal 
Church History, vol. ii. p. 155, by Pabish and Byrne). It 
is hardly necessary to add that Masses of this kind are now 
unknown in the Church. 


From time immemorial it has been customary in the La- 
tin Church to abstain from celebrating regular Mass on 
Good Friday, from the fact that it is the great mourning 
day of the year, and in a regular Mass there is more or less 
rejoicing ; and also because, as St. Thomas Aquinas says 
(p. 3, q. 83, art. 2), it is not becoming to represent the 
Passion of Christ mystically by the consecration of the 
Eucharist whilst the Church is celebrating it as if really 

These who follow the Ambrosian rite (viz., the priests 
of Milan) have no service at all upon any Friday of Lent. 
This dates at least from the time of St. Charles Borromeo. 
They will not even on these days say Mass for the dead or 
to satisfy any demand, no matter how urgent it be (Bona, 
Rer. Liturg., p. 219). 

Mass is also forbidden, unless Solemn High Mass, on 
Holy Thursday, but an exception is made in case of minor 
churches where a sufficient number of priests cannot be had 
to go through the regular ceremonies. In such cases a Low 
Mass is permitted. 

Holy Saturday is another day upon which Mass is not 
allowed — that is, Low Mass — unless in particular cases ; and 

18 The Mass— Origin of the Word, Etc. 

although it is customary to celebrate Solemn High Mass on 
this day, yet, strictly speaking, this Mass belongs to Holy 
Saturday night or Easter eve, and not to the day itself, as 
may be clearly seen from its wording, where frequent men- 
tion is made of the time at which it used to be celebrated. 
Thus the first Collect reads : " God ! who enlightenest this 
most sacred night by the glory of the Resurrection of our 
Lord, preserve in the new offspring of thy family th* 
spirit of adoption thou hast given them ; that, being re- 
newed in body and soul, they may serve thee with purity of 
heart." Allusion is also made to the night in the Preface, 
and in that prayer of the Canon called the " Communi- 


The opinion is sustained by the ablest liturgical writers 
that it was St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles and head of 
Christ's Church, who said the first Mass, and this after the 
descent of the Holy Ghost, in the very same Cenacle' at 
Jerusalem where the Blessed Eucharist was instituted, and 
where our Lord uttered the words, "Do this in commemora- 
tion of me." 

And as it will be asked why Mass was not celebrated 
before Pentecost, we give what the best authorities say upon 

8 The Cenacle, which stands upon Mt. Sion, is to-day one of the greatest objects of 
veneration in the Holy Land. It is remarkable as being the supposed place where the Last 
Supper was held ; where our Lord appeared to his disciples after his glorious resurrection 
on Easter morning ; where the Sacrament of Penance was first instituted, and where our 
Lord was seen to converse for the last time with his chosen band before he ascended 
into heaven. It was in this blessed spot also that St. James the Less, styled the brother 
of our Lord, was consecrated first bishop of Jerusalem ; and a pious tradition has it 
that it was here the " Beloved Disciple" said Mass in presence of the Blessed Virgin, 
who, it is said, departed this life there. Father Vetromile, Travels in Europe and the 
Eoly Land, p. 200, describes the Cenacle as a large room divided by a kind of alcove. 
*nd says that a plenary indulgence is attached to a visit paid it, with, of course, the 
usual conditions. 

Language in which the First Mass was Celebrated, 19 

the matter — viz., that, in the first place the Apostles would 
not presume to perform so august an action before they had 
received the plenitude of the Holy Ghost ; and, in the second 
place, that inasmuch as the Ancient Law was not wholly 
abrogated in what pertained to the priesthood until after 
the descent on Pentecost, it was not deemed expedient to 
begin the sacred ministrations of the New Law until this 
abrogation had taken effect. The Holy Scriptures seem to 
corroborate this statement also, for we read in the Acts of 
the Apostles (i. 14) that before the descent of the Holy 
Ghost " they were all persevering with one mind in prayer," 
but after the descent the "breaking of bread" — i.e., the 
celebration of Holy Communion — is mentioned {Acts ii. 42 
and 46 ; see Gavantus and Merati, Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., pp. 
7, 12, 14 ; and Bona, Rer. Liturg., book i. p. 206). 


In the time of our Lord three particular languages were 
common throughout Judea. They were, in some sense of the 
word, the languages of the world in those days — viz., the 
Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The first, better known as the 
Syro-Ohaldaic, or more properly the Syriac, was the lan- 
guage of the greater part of Judea, especially of Jerusalem 
itself and its environs, and, without a doubt, was the ver- 
nacular of our Divine Lord and his Blessed Mother. This 
can be proved almost to a demonstration, both from the 
common consent of critics and from the numerous Syriac 
expressions that we find here and there in the New Testa- 
ment yet in their original dress, such as " talitha cumi," 
"eloi, eloi, lamma sabacthani," and "ephphetha," all of 
which are Syriac, with a few euphonic changes made to 
suit Greek ears. 

20 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

The second, or the Greek, obtained a large sway in Pales, 
tine also, as St. Jerome testifies (Proem, 1. 2, Com. Epist. 
ad Gal.) and various records show. " And this glory," says 
Brerewood in his Languages and Religions, p. 9 — "this 
glory the Greek tongue held in the Apostles' time, and long 
after in the Eastern parts." 

The third, or the Latin, had obtained a far wider sway 
in the Holy Land in the time of our Lord and his 
Apostles than either of the other two, for it was the lan- 
guage of imperial Rome ; and as Judea was a Roman pro- 
vince at that time, and for years previous, it was but natural 
to expect that the language of Rome would be forced on the 
conquered people. But as we shall have occasion to treat 
of these languages more fully a little further on, we dismiss 
them with these brief remarks, and take up the subject 
that heads our article, viz. : In what language was the first 
mass offered ? 

Eckius, a learned German divine and antiquarian of the 
sixteenth century, was the first who broached the opinion 
that Mass was celebrated everywhere, in the beginning, in 
Hebrew. But this cannot be sustained, for the ablest litur- 
gical writers and linguists hold that in the days of the Apos- 
tles Mass was celebrated in the language that prevailed in 
those places whither the Apostles went to spread the light 
of the Gospel ; hence, that at Jerusalem it was celebrated 
in Syriac ; at Antioch, Alexandria, and other Grecian cities, 
in Greek ; and at Rome, and throughout the entire West, in 
Latin. As the first Mass, then, was celebrated at Jerusalem, 
it is an opinion which it would be rash to differ from that 
the language in which it was offered was the Syriac (Bona, 
Rer. Liturg., 207 ; Gavantus, Thesaur, Sacr. Rit., 16, 17 ; 
Kozma, Liturg. Sacr. Gathol., p. 111). 

Apparatus used at the First Mass. 21 


Although neither Scripture nor history says anything de- 
finite about the apparatus or ceremonies employed by the 
Apostles in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, still it is 
most probable that such an august sacrifice was not offered 
without what was suitable and becoming. The Apostles knew 
too well with what a gorgeous display of ritual the sacrifices 
of the Mosaic law used to be offered, and how Almighty 
God himself expressly regulated the kind of garments the 
priests should use and the special ceremonies that were to 
be employed on every occasion ; and if this were done where 
the sacrifice consisted of nothing but bulls and goats, 
how much more ought to be expected when the victim 
offered was none else than the Son of God himself ? It is 
very likely, then, that the apparatus used in the first Mass, 
and the ceremonies observed thereat, were communicated 
orally to the Apostles by our Lord himself, and that they 
did exactly as he prescribed. 

Cardinal Bona, in treating this question, says that, with- 
out a doubt, lights were used after the manner of the 
ancient Hebrews ; that vestments also were employed dif- 
ferent from those of every-day life ; and he mentions the 
fact that St. Peter's chasuble was conveyed from Antioch to 
the Church of St. Genevieve at Paris, and there carefully 
preserved (Rer. Liturg., p. 206). 


The Catholic Church of to-day celebrates the holy sacri- 
fice of the Mass in nine different languages — viz., in Latin, 
Greek, Syriac, Chaldaic, Sclavonic, Wallachian, Armenian, 
Coptic, and Ethiopic. 

Latin. — This is the language of the Mass in the entir 

22 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

West and in a few places in the East, and has been so, 
without change, from the beginning of Christianity. It 
may, in fact, be called the vernacular language of the 
Western Church. 

Greek. — At the present day Mass is said in Greek by the 
Uniat or Melchite 9 Catholics of the East. They are to be 
found in Syria, Jerusalem, Eussia, in the kingdom of Greece, 
in Italy, and in several places of Europe ; and they com- 
prise the Mingrelians, Georgians, Bulgarians, Muscovites, 
and others. These Catholics are allowed by Eome to retain 
all their ancient rites, such as consecrating the Holy Eucha- 
rist in leavened bread, giving Communion in both kinds, 
saying the Creed without the " Filioque," and putting warm 
water into the chalice after Consecration. Nay, more, the 
Holy See even allows their clergy to marry. 10 They have 
three patriarchs, residing respectively at Antioch, Alexan- 
dria, and Jerusalem ; and they use three different Liturgies 
for the celebration of the Mass — viz., the Liturgy of St. 
John Chrysostom, or that most generally used ; the Liturgy 
of St. Basil the Great, used on all Sundays in Lent except 

• The term Melchite, from the Syriac Malko, a king, was first applied at the Coun- 
cil of Chalcedon (451) to designate the orthodox party, at whose head was the Emperor 
Marcian. It has nearly the same meaning now in the East that the word Papist has 
through the West. The schismatics, however, often apply it to tneir body because of 
its expressing orthodoxy, for they rejoice in the title of the " Holy Orthodox Church of 
the East." 

10 When we say the Holy See allows the Eastern clergy in her Communion to marry, 
we must not be understood as implying that she allows those who are in Sacred Orders 
to do so. This would not be true. Her discipline in this matter is precisely as follows: 
Marriage is allowed all the inferior clergy from the subdeacon, exclusive, down. Should 
any member, then, of this inferior body be promoted to Sacred Orders, whether to the 
Bubdiaconate, diaconate, or priesthood, he is allowed to retain his wife and do for her 
as best he can from his living, but he can never marry again. Should he do so he would 
be degraded and forbidden ever to officiate. There is no such thing allowed or heard of 
as a clergyman getting married in Sacred Orders. If he is not married when a sub- 
deacon he never can be afterwards. And as for bishops, patriarchs, metropolitans, and 
the other great dignitaries of the Oriental hierarchy, the rule is that they must all be 
single men. Hence it is that all, or nearly all, the Oriental bishops are taken from tht 
monasteries ; and this is the rule with the schismatics also. 

Languages in which Mass is Celebrated To-day. 23 

Palm Sunday, on Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, the Vigils 
of Christmas day and of the Epiphany, and, finally, on the 
Feast of St. Basil, January 1. The third Liturgy is deno- 
minated the Presanctified. It is only used during those 
days of Lent upon which there is no Consecration, but 
only a Mass similar to that which we have on Good Friday. 

Syriac. — Mass is said in Syriac by the Maronites 11 of 
Mount Lebanon and the Syrian Melchites of the East. It 
is, in fact, the liturgical language of all those places where 
the Liturgy of St. James is used as the norma. It is the 
proud boast (and truly it is something to be proud of) of 
the people who say Mass in this language that they are 
using the very same language that was spoken by our 
Divine Lord himself and his Blessed Mother, as well as by 
the majority of the Apostles. The Maronites are allowed 
by the Holy See to retain all their ancient ecclesiastical 
rites and customs. They are governed by a patriarch, 
whose style is "Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites." 
This dignitary is elected by the people themselves ; but 
before he is installed in office his election has to await the 
confirmation of Rome. They use unleavened bread, as we 
do, in confecting the Holy Eucharist, and, like the rest of 
the Orientals, they communicate the people under both 
kinds ; but when communicating the sick only the species 
of bread is used. 

They use incense at Low Mass as well as at High Mass, 
and read the Gospel in Arabic after it has first been read 
in the Syriac, for Arabic is the language of the day in 
those parts. 

11 This people received the name of Maronite from a holy monk, St. Maro, who in- 
habited the Lebanon in the fifth century, and became celebrated all over the East for 
his eminent sanctity. Some say that they fell at one time into the Monothelite heresy, 
but they themselves deny the charge, maintaining that their faith has always been or- 
thodox. By way of derision they are called the "Eastern Papists," so great is their 
loyalty to the Holy See. 

24 The Mass — Origin of t/ie Word, Etc* 

Their secular clergy number about twelve thousand, and 
their regular about fourteen thousand. All the latter 
live in monasteries ; and as they must be unmarried (for 
it is only the seculars who are allowed to have wives), 
it is from their body that the patriarchs and bishops are 
taken (Vetromile, Travels in Europe and the Holy Land, 

Chaldaic. — This language is peculiar to the Babylonian 
Catholics, who are chiefly converts from Nestorianism, 12 and 
who inhabit principally Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Kur- 
distan. They have a patriarch, who is titled "Patriarch 
of Babylonia." His residence is at Bagdad. All the lit- 
urgical books of this people are written in the Chaldaic, 
in that peculiar character known as the Estrangolo 13 — for 
the Chaldaic itself has as many different alphabets as eigh- 
teen (Antrim's Science of Letters, p. 88). 

Sclavonic. — Mass is said in this language by the Catholics 
of Istria, Liburnia, and the maritime parts of ancient Dal- 
matia. It is, in fact, the liturgical language of all in union 
with Kome who belong to the Sclavonic nation. This 
privilege the Sclavonians first received from Pope Adrian 

12 The Nestorians, so called from Nestorius, a native of Germanicia, in Syria, and 
Patriarch of Constantinople in the fifth century, are found in great numbers to-day 
throughout the entire East. They have twenty -five metropolitans, and a patriarch who 
resides at Mosul, the ancient Nineveh. Strangely enough, they consider it an insult 
'to he sty led Nestorians, their proper name being, as they strenuously maintain them- 
selves, Soordye—i.e., Syrians. According to some they sometimes style themselves 
Nusrani— that is, " of Nazareth"— but this, if anything, must be a subterfuge to escape 
the name of the heretic Nestorius, which they disdain being called by (see Nestorians 
mnd their Ritvals, vol. i. p. 178, by Rev. Geo. Percy Badger ; and Vetromile, Travels 
in Europe and the Holy Land, p. 90). The reader need hardly be told that the heresy 
for which Nestorius was condemned at the General Council of Ephesus in 431 was the 
ascribing of two distinct persons to our Lord instead of one, and refusing the title of 
" Mother of God " to the Blessed Virgin. 

18 According to Assemani (Bibl. Orient., torn. iv. p. 378), this word comes from the 
Greek o-rpoyyvkos, round f but, as it is hard to see where the roundness comes into 
these characters, others derive the word from an Arabic compound meaning "gospel- 
writing" (see Phillips' Syriac Oram., Introduction, p. 6). 

Languages in which Mass is Celebrated To-day. 25 

II. in the ninth century, and it was confirmed by Pope 
John VIII. , Adrian's immediate successor. This latter 
Pontiff, in renewing the grant, made it a condition that 
the holy Gospel, on account of its superiority over the 
other parts of the Mass, should be first read in Latin, 
and after that in Sclavonic. In a.d. 1248 Pope Innocent 
IV. acquiesced in all these concessions of his predecessors, 
as also did Pope Benedict XIV. in a.d. 1740; so that at 
the present day Mass is said in Sclavonic by quite a large 
body of Catholics. It is also the liturgical language of 
schismatical Russia and of thousands of Christians within 
the Turkish dominions (Bona, Rer. Liturg., 216 ; Kozma, 
Liturg. Sacr. Cathol, 112, note ; Wouters, Historia Eccle- 
siast., 258; Brerewood, Languages and Religions, p. 235; 
and Gavantus, Thes. Rit., p. 25, xix.) 

Wallachian. — Since the seventeenth century, when a great 
number of them came into the Church, the Wallachians, 
with the tacit consent of the Holy See, have been saying 
Mass in their own native language, which, however, is no 
longer that in daily use, but the old classic tongue. Con- 
cessions (if wa may call that a concession which is allowed 
by tacit consent) of this kind are very rarely granted ; and 
when granted at all, it is always in favor of some newly- 
converted people who cling with great tenacity to their 
national language and customs (Kozma, Liturg. Sacr. 
Cathol., p. 112, note 9). 

Armenian. — This is the liturgical language of all who are 
called by that name in the East to-day. They inhabit 
Armenia proper, or the modern Turkomania, and are found 
also throughout Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Turkey, 
Georgia, Greece, Africa, Italy, and Russia. In the last- 
named empire their sees were arranged by a ukase, March 
11, 1836. They are at present governed by a patriarch, 
who is styled " Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians," and 

26 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

who resides at Bezourmar. In the island of San Lazaro, 
at Venice, they have a monastery which is famous all over 
the world for its printing-presses. Here most of the Ar- 
menian ecclesiastical books are turned out. 

The Armenians, unlike all the other Christians of the 
East, save the Maronites, use unleavened bread in the Holy 
Eucharist as we do. The heretical Armenians, all of whom 
are Monophy sites 1 * (that is, believers in but one nature — viz., 
the divine — in our Lord, after the teaching of Eutyches), ab- 
stain from mingling water with the wine in the Mass, in order 
to give as great a prominence to their belief as possible ; for 
water is symbolical of the human nature of our Saviour, 
which these people maintain was wholly absorbed by the 
divine, so that a vestige of it did not remain (Burder's 
Religious Ceremonies, p. 180 ; Smith and Dwight's Travels 
in Armenia, passim ; Vetromile, Travels in Europe and 
the Holy Land, art. "Eastern Rites"). 

Coptic. — This language, which the natives maintain to be 
the same as the ancient language of the Pharaohs — that 
is, the Egyptian — is used by the Christians along the Nile 
in the celebration of their sacred rites. This people are 
called Copts from a paring down of the name they were 
given by the Greeks, viz., Aiyvnrioi — i.e., Egyptians — 
which in many ancient manuscripts is written ^Egophthi, 
Copthi, and Chibthi. This, at least, is the origin assigned 
by some of the ablest Oriental scholars, and Renaudot 
among others (see Liturg. Orient. Col., dissert, de Ling. 

14 The term Monophysite, from the Greek ftdvos, one, and <t>v<ns, nature, first 
came in use afWr the General Council of Chalcedon in 451, at which the heretic Eu- 
tyches was condemned for asserting that there was but one nature in our Lord. Id 
Syria and other parts of the East the followers of Eutyches are called Jacobites, from 
James Baradai, one of their chief reformers : but throughout Africa they are univer- 
sally known by their more comprehensive name of Monophysites. As a peculiarity of 
their heretical tenets, they use only one finger in making the sign of the eroee (Brer«- 
wood, Languages and Heligions, p. 186). 

Languages in which Mass is Celebrated To-day. 27 

Coptica, torn. i. p. ex.) But, according to Scaliger, Simon, 
and Kircher, the Copts are so called from an ancient city 
of Egypt known as Coptos, once the metropolis of the 
Thebaid. Eenaudot, however, has clearly proved that this 
is at best nothing more than a guess ; and the vast major- 
ity of modern linguists adhere to his opinion. 16 

The Copts use three different Liturgies in the celebration 
of Mass — viz., those of St. Basil, St. Cyril, and St. Gregory, 
The first, which is considered the most elegant and ela 
borate, and the one best suited to grand occasions, is dedi 
cated specially to the Person of the Omnipotent Father 
The second is dedicated to the Person of the Father also 
but not in so special a manner. The third, or that of St 
Gregory, is dedicated to the Person of our Divine Redeemer 
for it dwells particularly on his Incarnation, Passion, Death 
Resurrection, and Ascension. These are the three principal 
Liturgies ; in fact, they may be said to be the only ones 
used by the Copts, for, although they have as many as 
twelve altogether, yet they never bring any others into 
requisition but the three specified (Renaudot, Comment, 
ad Liturg. Copt. 8. Basilil, vol. i. p. 154). 

The Copts at the present day — that is, the Catholic Copts 
— are governed by a vicar-apostolic residing at Cairo, but 
there is a movement on foot to give them a regular hier- 
archy of their own, with a patriarch at its head. 

The schismatic Copts, all of whom are Monophysites, 
number about one hundred and fifty thousand — that is, 
about eighty thousand more than those in communion with 
the Holy See. They are governed by a patriarch, who is 
styled " Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts" ; but besides 

16 " Le terme Arabe, un Cophte, me semble une alteration evidente du Grec Alyvnrot, 
un Egyptien, car on doit remarquer que y etait prononce ou chez les anciens Grecs , et 
que les Arabes, n'ayant ni g devant a, o, u, ni la lettre p, remplacent toujours ces lettres 
par g et b • les Copbtes sont done proprement les representing Egyptiens " (Volney, 
from the Crescent and the Cross, p. 93, by Warburton). 

28 The Mass— Origin of the Word, Etc. 

him they have another who resides at Cairo and takes 
his title from Jerusalem. He is, of course, subordinate 
to the Patriarch of Alexandria (see Vetromile, Eastern 
Rites, 87 ; Renaudot, De Patriarcha Alexandrino, passim, 
torn, i.) We shall have frequent occasion to refer to the 
Copts throughout our work. 

Ethiopia — This is the liturgical language of the modern 
Abyssinians, who differ but very little from the Copts either 
in discipline or ecclesiastical customs. Of the language 
there are two dialects — viz., the Amharic and the Gheez. 
The former, or court language, is considered much easier 
than the latter, in which nearly all the Abyssinian books 
are written. The Gheez is principally spoken in the king- 
dom of Tigre. 

By some authors the Ethiopic is called the Chaldaic, from 
an opinion current among the natives that it originally 
came from ancient Chaldea ; and it is generally said that a 
fair knowledge of it is easily acquired by one skilled in 
Hebrew, for the principal difference, they say, that exists 
between both consists in the formation of the letters of the 
alphabet (Burder, Rel. Rites and Customs, p. 175 ; Brere- 
wood, Languages and Religions, 300). 

The Catholic Abyssinians now number about two millions. 
They are under a vicar-apostolic. The schismatics, who 
»re Monophysites like the Copts, number about five times 
as many as the orthodox. They are governed by an official 
called the Abouna (from a Syriac word meaning "our Fa- 
ther), who ranks as a bishop and is sent them by the Pa- 
triarch of Alexandria. The great redeeming feature of this 
people is their extraordinary devotion to the Mother of God. 
So great is their reverence for her that when the common 
street-beggars fail to exact an aims for the love of God or 
for any of the saints, an appeal is at once made in honor 
of " Lady Mary," which ip always sure to receive a favor- 

Languages in which Ma*s is Celebrated To-day, 29 

able hearing (Dublin Review, July, 1863, p. 50). Further- 
more, an oath taken in her name is considered the most 
solemn that can be administered, and, if taken rashly, is 
subject to the highest penalty the law can inflict (see 
Lobo's Voyage to Abyssinia, p. 26). Their Liturgy is 
called the " Liturgy of All the Apostles," but its official 
title is the "Ethiopic Canon." It is considered to be an 
amplification of that of St. Cyril. 

It may be well to say that the Abyssinian ordinations are 
the only ones in the East which are held doubtful by the 
Holy See. For this reason priests coming into our Church 
from theirs are, in nearly every case, ordained under condi- 
tion. I say in nearly every case, but not always ; for where 
it is found that the Abyssinian ritual has been followed to 
the letter, no conditional ordination is needed. Their 
rituals have the valid form, but carelessness on the part 
of their bishops often causes it to be either badly vitiated 
or wholly disregarded (see Denzinger, Ritus Oriental., p. 

Before we dismiss this subject we have some remarks to 
make that cannot but be of interest to the reader. We have 
said that the Catholic Church of to-day celebrates the holy 
sacrifice of the Mass in nine different languages, all of which 
we have given. We have said that the Greeks celebrate in 
Greek, the Armenians in Armenian, the Ethiopians in Efht* 
opic, etc. The reader must not understand by this, as some, 
such as Usher, 16 would fain do, that the language in anyone 
case is the vernacular. 

The Greeks, who celebrate in Greek, speak Greek, it is 
true, but so different is it from their liturgical language (for 

>• Usher was an Anglican bishop of the seventeenth century. He was a man of 
great erudition, and many works of merit, notwithstanding his own bigotry, issued 
from his pen. He published what he termed a Catalogue of Irish Saints, arrange i in 
three divisions according to t*»e age they lived in. 

30 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

the latter is the ancient classic Greek) that hardly a man 
can be found who understands one word of it. The same 
may be said of the Armenian, the same of the Ethiopic, the 
same of any one of the nine specified. The Copts, for in- 
stance, are so little skilled in the Coptic used in the Mass 
that it has been found necessary to print the rubrics of theii 
Missals in Arabic (the language of those regions) for the 
benefit of the clergy ; for neither the clergy nor the people 
are much versed in the language used in the sacred offices. 
(The reader who wishes to see this subject fully discussed 
would do well to consult Kenaudot, Liturg. Oriental. 
Collectio, torn, i., dissert, de Liturg. Orient. Origine, 
xxxviii. ) 

We do not consider it necessary to quote authorities for 
our assertion, for we challenge anybody to gainsay it. Pro- 
testants — we mean those who are not biassed and blinded by 
prejudice — and Catholics bear testimony to it. And since 
it is an indisputable fact that there is not to be found 
in Christendom a single instance of a people celebrating 
the Holy Mass in the language of the day, how is it that 
we of the Latin Church are called to task so often for " cele- 
brating in an unknown tongue "? Why not call the Greek 
Church to task ? Why not call the Armenian Church to 
task ? Why not call the Eussian to task ? And yet, ii 
there is reprehension deserved anywhere, these people de- 
serve more than we, for the most illiterate of our congrega- 
tions know far more about our liturgical language — there 
are translations of it in every prayer-book — than the most 
educated of the nations we have mentioned know about 
theirs. Ask a Nestorian or a Copt to roll you off only a 
few short sentences of the liturgical Syriac or Coptic ; he 
could as easily tell you his thoughts in the language of the 
" Celestial Empire." 

Precedents for using an unknown Tongue. 31 


Nor is the practice of celebrating divine service in a 
tongue unknown to the people without precedents in an- 
cient and modern times. The Jews always celebrated the 
praises of Jehovah in "the language that the prophets 
spake"— i.e., the ancient Hebrew. This was so far above 
the reach of the people that it was found necessary to sup- 
ply them with translations in the shape of the so-called 
Targums" in order that they might know something of 
what was done (see Renaudot in loc. cit. ) ; and that this 
custom is yet kept up by the modern Jews in their syna- 
gogues innumerable witnesses prove (see Bannister's Temples 
of the Hebrews; Jahn's Arclmology ; Dr. Rock, Hierurgia, 
p. 216). We may be pardoned for taking another instance 
of praying in <in unknown tongue from the Mahometans. 
It is well known in what deep veneration these people hold 
the Koran, 18 which is to them what the Bible is to Chris- 

17 Targum, from the Chaldaic turgmo, "interpretation," was originally a rendition 
of the Scriptures into the East-Aramaean dialect for the benefit of those Jews who, on 
account of their seventy years' absence in Babylon, could no more understand the pure 
Hebrew of the Bible. There are in existence yet ten of such Targums, the most an- 
cient and valuable of which is the one ascribed to Onkelos, which is a very literal ver- 
sion of the original Hebrew Pentateuch. The Babylonian Talmud makes Onkelos a 
contemporary of Gamaliel, who flourished in the beginning of the Christian era. 

18 The Koran, from the Arabic qur&n, " the reading," is looked upon with so much 
sacredness by the Mahometans that they deem no one worthy to behold it who is not 
a Moslem of the most orthodox kind. The book is held to bo altogether a miraculous 
work ; and so inimitable is its style that, according to the Mahometans, no one less 
than an angel from heaven could produce anything like it. Its miraculous nature i* 
supposed to be proved from the following facts : 

1st. Its elegance, diction, and melody are unsurpassed. 2d. Its structure cannot b« 
equalled. 3d. Its consistency is marvellous, admitting of no contradiction. 4th. Ita 
knowledge of divine things is admirable. 5th. Its knowledge of human and divine 
law. 6th. Its sayings have never been falsified. 7th. It removes all diseases of mind 
and body. 8th. It reveals mysteries known only to God. 

It consists of one hundred and fourteen Surds, or chapters, each bearing a title which 
serves as a sort of key or clue to what is to follow, as an antiphon does to its psalm. 
The first Sura is headed the " Cow," for in the body of the chapter the sacrifice of a 

32 The Mass— Origin of the Word, Etc. 

iians. It is written in the purest Arabic, and so much 
afraid are they of it becoming common that no one is 
allowed to attempt a translation of it in the Arabic spoken 
by the people. This pure Arabic is a dead language to 
the masses (see Guthrie's Grammar of History, p. 719). 
" Though it has long ceased to be spoken," says Murray 
(in his Encyclopaedia of Geog., vol. ii. 229), " it has con- 
tinued to be the liturgic and learned language of all the 
numerous nations professing Islam, 19 from the shores of the 
Indian Ocean to the westernmost corner of Morocco, and 
from the Wolga to Cape Delgado, in Africa." 

Another example in point may be cited from the Hin- 
doos, who allow none but the Brahmins to read the Veda 
on account of the great respect they have for the language in 
which it is written. The Hindoos carry this thing so far 
that they will not allow some of their minor ministers so 
much as even to listen to the reading of this book or to 
speak of it (Burder, Religious Ceremonies and Customs, pp. 
528, 529) ; so also with the language known as the Bali, a 
half-sister of the Sanscrit, which has long since ceased to be 
spoken, yet it is the liturgical language of Ceylon, Bali, and 
Madura, of a great part of Java and Indo-China. It is also 
the religious language of all the Japanese who profess Lama- 
ism (Murray, Cyclop, of Geography, vol. ii. p. 231). We 
have, therefore, clearly shown that if precedent be wanted 
for what is styled " a strange, unmeaning discipline," the 

cow is spoken of. With but one exception every Sura begins thus ■ " Bismillah, ur 
rahman-ur-raheem "—In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful. 

Mahomet was aided in composing the Koran by a Jew named Abdia Ben Salon, and 
by a monk who had apostatized, named Sergius, or Bahira. as the Orientals called him 
(see the Koran, translated by Sale, and the Life and Religion of Mahomet, translated 
from the Persian by Rev. James Merrick). 

19 Islam, Moslem, and Mussulman are all from the same root, Aslam, meaning to 
yield up, to dedicate, to devote to the service of religion ; something like our word 
cleric, which comes from the Greek *Aijpow, I separate or choose for a religious 

Why the Church retains the use of the Latin. 33 

most critical mind can be satisfied by looking into the pages 
of antiquity and examining the religious customs of any 
ancient people. In nearly every case the liturgical language 
will be found different from that in use among the common 

The principal reason why Protestants reprobate our use 
of a language not understood by the people is, as far as 
they themselves are concerned, very rational, but, as far as 
Catholics are concerned, highly absurd. A Protestant goes 
to church to utter a few prayers, or at least to hear the 
minister utter them, and nothing more. His service is 
essentially prayer, and nothing but prayer. Not so with the 
Catholic. His service is something higher and greater than 
mere prayer : it is a tremendous sacrifice ; and as the sacri- 
fice may be offered entirely independent of prayer, it matters 
but little whether the share prayer takes in it be little or 
great, provided everything else is duly ordered. For which 
reason some of the ablest spiritual writers have said again 
and again that one of the most efficacious ways of hearing 
Mass is to watch the actions of the priest at the altar with 
great attention from beginning to end, and look as little at 
the prayer-book as possible. A person who could do this 
without distraction would reap incalculable spiritual fruit 
from it, and would, without a doubt, be assisting at Mass in 
the strictest sense of the word. 


The Catholic Church celebrates in Latin for a variety of 
reasons : 

First. Because she did so in the beginning ; and as she 
never changes her faith, she has never deemed it advisable 
to change her language. If her sacred language changed 

34 The Mass — Origin of the Word, Etc. 

with those that are changing around her, there would be no 
end to the confusion that would result, and much disedifi- 
cation would unavoidably be given by using words and 
phrases in the hearing of the people to which the grossest 
meanings are sometimes attached. 

Secondly. As order is heaven's first law, uniformity seems 
to be the first law of the Church, for which reason she 
makes it her endeavor to have her greatest charge, the due 
and respectful celebration of the Adorable Sacrifice of the 
Altar, conducted with the same ceremonies and said in the 
same language everywhere. This she could not do unless 
she had fixed on a common language. 

Thirdly. Unity in respect to language goes a very great 
way in preserving unity of belief. A writer of high repute 
(Porubszky, Jure suo Ecclesiast., p. 854) declares as his firm 
conviction that the various churches of the East which 
have severed their connection with the centre of unity, 
Rome, would hardly ever have done so had they been re- 
quired from the beginning to make Latin their liturgical 
language. National languages always pave the way for na- 
tional churches. 

Fourthly. By preserving the Latin in her Liturgy, and 
requiring her ministers to cultivate it, the Catholic Church 
has secured for herself the accumulated literary treasures of 
eighteen centuries of Christianity. By this she has free 
access to the writings of some of the most illustrious doctors 
of the Church, to canon and civil law, to the decrees of 
ancient councils, and to many other documents of value 
which would have otherwise been totally out of reach. For 
tfhich reason alone our Holy Church should receive the 
praise of Christendom. Hallam, in his Middle Ages, could 
not hide the fact that the sole hope of literature in these 
times depended principally on the Catholic Church, for 
wherever it existed the Latin language was preserved. 

Priest of th eLatih Church. 
4qo£u^Ye2ted for Mass. 




The sacred vestments employed by a priest in celebrating 
the iioly Sacrifice are six in number — viz., Amice, Alb^ 
Cincture, Maniple, Stole, and Chasuble. 


The Amice, so called from the Latin amicire, to clothe or 
cover, is a rectangular piece of linen about three feet long 
and two feet wide. It has a string at each of its two upper 
corners by which to fasten it on the shoulders of the wearer, 
and a cross in the middle of the upper edge, which the 
priest kisses when vesting. 

From the office which the Amice serves various names 
have been given it, such as Humeral, from the Latin hume- 
rus, a shoulder ; Anabolagium, from the Greek dvafioXrf 
(anabole), a cloak ; and Ephod, from its resemblance to the 
Aaronic garment of that name. 

The Greek Church uses no article of this kind at the pre- 
sent time, although it did formerly. The priests of the Am- 
brosian or Milanese rite, also the canons of the Cathedral of 
Lyons, put on the Amice after the Alb, and not before it, as 
we do. This is also the discipline of the Maronites of Mt. 

The Amice of the Armenians, called by them Vakass, has 
a breastplate attached, upon which are inscribed the names 
of the twelve Apostles, in imitation of the Jewish Ephod, 
whose breastplate displayed, in shining colors, the names of 

86 Sacred Vestments. 

the twelve tribes of Israel (Neale's Holy Eastern Churchy 
toI. i. p. 306). 

Early History of the Amice. — Liturgical writers tell us 
that the Amice, in early days, served as a covering for the 
head and neck, and that it continued to be so used until 
about the tenth century, when its place was supplied by the 
ecclesiastical cap, or lerretta then introduced (Bouvry, Ex- 
positio Rubricarum, vol. ii. 216). 

This is corroborated by the practice yet prevailing with 
some of the religious orders, such as the Capuchins and 
Dominicans, of wearing the Amice over the head until 
the beginning of Mass, when they cast it back on their 
shoulders and adjust it around the neck. A vestige of its 
ancient use may also be seen in the ordination of a subdea- 
con, where the bishop draws the article first over the candi- 
date's head, and then lets it fall loosely over his shoulders. 

Mystical Meaning of the Amice. — The mystical meaning of 
the Amice may be gathered from the prayer recited in don- 
ning it : " Place upon my head, Lord ! the helmet of sal- 
vation for repelling the attacks of the evil one." It is, 
then, part of the armor of a soldier of Christ, and serves to 
remind the priest of the obligation he is under of being 
Jeady at all times to fight the good fight of faith in accord- 
ance with that sacred admonition of the Apostle of the Gen- 
tiles, " Put ye on the armor of God, that you may be able to 
stand against the deceits of the devil. . . . And take 
unto you the helmet of salvation " (Ephesians vi. 11-17). 


The second vestment the priest clothes himself with is the 
Alb, so called from its white color — alius in Latin meaning 
white. It is an ample, loosely-fitting garment of pure linen, 
entirely enveloping the body, and fastened at the neck by 
tneans of strings. 

The Alb. 37 

The use of a vestment of this kind is of the highest anti- 
quity, for we find it employed by all nations in their reli- 
gious services. It is the same as the linen garment ordered 
to be worn by the priests of the Old Law (Exod. xxviii. ; 
Levit. viii.) King David wore a linen Alb when translating 
the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obededom to 
Jerusalem (1 Parol, xv. 27). 

We have said that the Alb is made of linen ; this, at least, 
is the present discipline in regard to it, but formerly it was 
often made of silk and ornamented with gold. King Ethel- 
wolf, of Anglo-Saxon times, and father of Alfred the Great, 
presented the Church of St. Peter's at Rome, in a.d. 855, 
with a number of silken Albs richly ornamented in this way 
(Church of Our Fathers, by Dr. Rock, vol. i. p. 426). An 
ancient Roman ordo, published by Hittorp, prescribes silken 
Albs for Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday (ibid.) 

The Alb, too, changed in color to suit particular occa- 
sions. The monks of Cluny used to wear one of pure cloth 
of gold in the High Masses of the greater festivals ; and we 
find some of green, blue, and red in an old inventory of the 
celebrated monastery of Peterborough, in England (ibid,, 
pp. 430-433 et passim). 

Pope Benedict XIV., De Sacr. Misses, is our authority for 
saying that a garment of this kind, but of a black color, 
used to be formerly worn on Good Friday. 

Figurative Signification of the Alb. — According to Pope 
Innocent III. (De Sacr. Altaris Mysterio, 57), the Alb, from 
the purity of its color, denotes newness oi life, and reminds 
up of St. Paul's admonition to the E^hesians, chap, iv.: 
"Pat off the old man with all his acts, aid clothe yourselves 
with the new man, who, according to God, is created in 
justice and holiness of truth." This beautiful idea of a 
new life, as signified by the Alb, is very forcibly presented 
to us in Holy Baptism, where the newly-regenerated 

38 Sacred Vestments. 

receives a white garment with these significant words : 
"Receive this white and spotless garment which you are 
to bear before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, that 
you may possess eternal life. Amen." 

Oriental Usage.— The Greeks call the Alb Poderis, from 
its reaching to the feet (Bona, Rer. Liturg., 281). This, 
however, is not the name that it is generally known by, 
for we find it mentioned in nearly all the Oriental Liturgies 
as the Stoicharion (Denzinger, Ritus Orientalium, pp. 
129-405 ; Renaudot, Liturg. Orient., i. 161). It is the first 
vestment of all the orders of the clergy, and, though 
anciently made of linen, is now, with many of the Oriental 
churches, of nothing else but white silk (Denzinger, 129). 

In the Russian Church a Stoicharion of purple is pre- 
scribed for all days in Lent except the Feast of the Annun 
ciation, Palm Sunday, and Holy Saturday (Neale's Holy 
Eastern Church, vol. i. p. 307). 

With the Copto-Jacobites (or Monophysites of Egypt) it 
is known indifferently by the names Jabat and Touniat ; 
and with those of Syria as the Koutino, evidently from the 
Greek x irc * )Vlov , an under-garment (Renaudot, i. 161, ii. 
54). The Copts, too, sometimes call it Kamis (Denzinger, 
129), from the Latin camisia and the French chemise, 1 an 
under-gown. They are very strict in their discipline re- 
garding the wearing of it. No priest would dare enter 
the sanctuary without it. Should he present himself for 
Holy Communion, and neglect to have himself clothed with 
it, he is at once ordered to depart and communicate at the 
rails with the common people. One of their disciplinary 

1 It will interest the reader to know that the camisia, or under-gown, of Our Blessed 
Lady is yet preserved, with affectionate veneration, in a silver case at Chartres, in 
France. It is inscribed " La Cheiniee de la Sainte Vierge," and so well authenticated 
that it would be rash to entertain a doubt about it. For a full account of its miracu- 
lous history see Nicephorus Calixtus, Hist. Eccl., lib. xv. chap, xxxiv \ or the Truth 
of Supposed Legends, by Cardinal Wiseman, 

The Cincture. 39 

canons on this head runs thus : " It is unlawful for a priest 
to pray or receive Holy Communion 8 without his being 
vested with a Chitonion. The thing would be unbecom- 
ing and at variance with the canon of holy faith/' And 
another : " Let not a priest approach Holy Communion 
on the steps of the altar unless vested with the Stoicharion. 
Should he not have this he must communicate outside the 
rails" (Renaudot, Liturg. Orient., i. 160). 

Priests of the Latin Church put on the Alb with the 
prayer : " Purify me, Lord ! and make me clean of heart, 
that, washed in the Blood of the Lamb, I may possess 
eternal joy." In the Russian Church the prayer is : "My 
soul doth magnify the Lord, who clothed me in the gar- 
ment of salvation" (Greco- Russian Church, by Romanoff, 
p. 89). 


The Cincture occupies the third place in the catalogue 
of sacred vestments. It is of as high antiquity as the Alb, 
which it always accompanies ; its chief, in fact its only, 
office being to keep that garment in its proper place on the 
person of the wearer. Different writers give it different 
names, such as zone, girdle, hand, belt, and the like. It is 
required to be of linen, and of such a length that, when 
doubled, it may encircle the body of the priest. Formerly 
it was wide like a sash, and was often made of the most 
precious materials — such as cloth of gold, silk, etc. — and 

a We here beg to inform the reader that it is cv r-tomary for all the priests of the 
JSast who assist at Mass, whether as concelebrants ^that is, celebrating the self-same 
Ht.urgy with the celebrant of the day) or as mere lookers-on, to receive Holy Com- 
munion from the hands of the priest at the altar. Should, however, the patriarch be 
present at such a Mass, but not celebrant, he approaches the altar and communicates 
himself (Denzinger, Bit. Oriental., p. 405). The practice of thus receiving from the 
hands of the priest celebrating is observed in our Church on Holy Thursday, but on no 
other occasion. 

40 Sacred Vestments, 

used to be studded with gems (Church of Our Fathers, 
vol. i. p. 488, by Dr. Rock). A cincture found upon the 
body of a deceased bishop taken up in Durham Cathedral 
in 1829 is thus described by Raine : " Of the girdle, or 
cingulum, the portion which we were enabled to preserve 
measures twenty-five inches in length ; its breadth is 
exactly seven-eighths of an inch. It has evidently pro- 
ceeded from the loom ; and its two component parts are a 
flattish thread of pure gold and a thread of scarlet silk, 
which are not combined in any particular pattern, save 
that, at a very short distance from each selvage, there run 
two or three longitudinal lines, which serve to break the 
uniformity of the whole. The lining is of silk " (ibid. 489, 
note 22). It varied also in color formerly, to suit the dif- 
ferent colors of the vestments ; but now it is rarely seen 
of any other color but white, although the rubrics do not 
forbid other colors to be used at the option of the priest. 
And as regards its material, according to the present dis- 
cipline, it is required to be of pure linen, and of nothing 
else. Terminating both ends are two large tassels, which 
hang down equally on each side of the priest when vested. 

Mentioned in Holy Scripture.— The Cincture is frequently 
alluded to in Holy Scripture, where many moral significa- 
tions are attached to it. The prophet Isaias, in describing 
the Messias, says of him : " Justice shall be the girdle of 
his loins, and faith the girdle of his reins " (xi. 5). Our 
Divine Lord himself, when addressing his disciples, thus 
exhorted them : "Let your loins be girt, and lamps burn- 
ing in your hands" (Luke xii. 35) ; and St. John, in the 
Apocalypse, says that he saw " in the midst of the seven 
golden candlesticks one, -K^^iJ^ihe Son of Man, clothed 
with a garment down to the feet, and girt about the paps 
with a golden girdle '{JkW^J SJ 

Cincture in the Old la^.— In tfreWd Law. as wp.11 a* i« 

The Cincture. 41 

the New, the Cincture occupied a prominent place among the 
priestly vestments. According to the Jewish historian Jose- 
phus (p. 74), its width was four fingers, and it was woven in 
such a manner as to exhibit the appearance of serpents" 
scales. It used to be ornamented with floral embroidery 
in purple, dark-blue, scarlet, and white. The manner of 
weaving it was as now. The name given it by Moses was 
Abaneth ; but the more recent Jews called it, in accordance 
with Babylonic usage, Emia. 

Cincture of the Orientals. — The Cinctures of the Greeks 
and Syrians are much broader than ours, and, instead of 
being knotted on the person of the wearer, are buckled in 
front with a hook or clasp. These Cinctures are sometimes 
made of very precious silk, studded with precious stones. 
A gilt hook, shaped like an " S," is employed to fasten 
them around the waist (Dr. Rock, Church of Our Fathers, 
i. 490, 491). Renaudot {Comment, ad Liturg. Copt. S. 
Basilii, p. 161) tells us that, to draw as broad a line as 
possible between the followers of the Koran and xhe Chris- 
tians of Egypt, some of the Caliphs 3 used to oblige the 
latter to wear a certain kind of Cincture always in common 
life. To exhort the faithful to bear this intended humil- 
iation with true Christian fortitude, the Fathers of those 
days delivered many touching homilies to them. While 
this state of things lasted the Christians of those parts 
were commonly styled " Christiani de Cingulo " — that is, 
Cincture-ioearing C hristians. 

The prayer recited in putting on the Cincture is worded 
as follows : " Gird me, Lord ! with the Cincture of 
purity, and extinguish in my loins the heat of concupis- 

• Caliph— from the Arabic Jcaleefah, and the Chaldaic chdtaph, to change, to succeed; 
hence, a ruler— is the official title of the highest Mahometan dignitary in spirituals 
and temporals. He is regarded as actually holding the place of Mahomet himself ; 
therefore he must be considered in point of fact as his vicar on earth. 

42 Sacred Vestments. 

cence, that the virtue of continence and chastity may abide 
in me." 

The Russian priests, who wear a Cincture exactly like 
ours, recite the following prayer in vesting themselves with 
it : " Blessed be the Lord, who girdeth me with strength, 
and maketh my path undefiled " (Romanoff, Greco-Russian 
Church, p. 89). 

Venerable Relics. — Among the many sacred relics yet pre- 
served, and exhibited every seven years for the veneration of 
the faithful, in the great church of Aix-la-Chapelle, in France, 
is the veritable Cincture worn by our Blessed Redeemer. 
It is entirely of leather, and bears at its extremities the 
imperial seal of Constantine the Great. Thousands flock 
thither from all quarters of the globe to behold this pre- 
cious curiosity {Catholic World, Sept., 1872). The Cincture 
worn by Our Blessed Lady is said to be preserved also in 
the Church of Our Lady of Montserrat at Prato, in Tus- 
cany (Burder, Religious Ceremonies and Customs, 235). 

Moral Lesson taught by the Cincture. — The moral lesson 
intended to be conveyed by the wearing of the Cincture is 
easily gathered from the prayer recited in putting it on. 
It reminds the wearer of the great purity of mind and 
heart that he ought to be filled with in his ministrations 
before a God of infinite holiness and sanctity. The high- 
priests of the Old Law were reminded of this solemn obli- 
gation by being obliged to wear on their foreheads a golden 
plate with the words "mr& mp»— Kadesh la Jehovah 
(Bannister, Temples of the Hebrews, p. 180)— inscribed upon 
it ; that is, Holiness to Jehovah. How much more holiness 
is required in priests of the New Law, where the Victim of 
sacrifice is none other than the Son of God himself, the 
Jehovah of the New Covenant ? 

Other mystical meanings were also attached to the Cinc- 
ture, such as promptitude in executing the commands of 

The Maniple. 43 

God ; exactness in religious observances ; and watchfulness 
in regard to our eternal salvation, in accordance with that 
solemn admonition of our Divine Lord himself : " Let your 
loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands " (Luke xii. 
35). That is, be ready at all times to appear before the 
tribunal of divine justice. 


The Maniple is the fourth article which the priest vests 
himself with. It is a small strip of precious cloth, of the 
same material as the Stole and Chasuble, having three 
crosses embroidered upon it — one in the middle, and one 
at each of its extremities. It is worn on the left wrist, to 
which it is fastened either by a pin or a string. Its whole 
length is generally about two feet, and its breadth about 
four inches. When fastened on, it hangs equally on both 

Ancient Names given the Maniple. — The Maniple was 
anciently known by as many as ten different names — viz., 
Mappula, Sudarium, Brachial Cincture, Mantile, Linteum, 
Aer, Sacerdotale Cincticulum, Maniple, Mappa Parva, and 
Phanon (Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., p. 130). 

Originally it was intended solely for wiping the perspira- 
tion from the face of the wearer, and drying the hands so 
that the sacred vestments may not be soiled by them. In 
fact, it served in every way as a handkerchief, as we see 
from what the ancients have written about it. Thus 
Alcuin, in the ninth century, speaks of it as follows : " The 
little kerchief which is worn on the left hand, wherewith 
we wipe off the moisture of the eyes and nose, designates 
the present life, in which we suffer from superfluous 
humors" (Bona, Ber. Lxturg., 281). 

Amalarius also, who lived about the same period, writes 

44 Sacred Vestments, 

of it thus : " We carry a handkerchief (Sudarium) ic* the 
purpose of wiping the perspiration" {Hid.) 

The Maniple, as we have said, was fastened to the left 
wrist. The ancient form of the Chasuble, of which we shall 
give a full account further on, required this disposition ; for 
if it were kept anywhere else it would be almost wholly out 
of reach of the priest, who was enveloped on all sides, as 
our print will show (see figure). As long as the ancient 
ample Chasuble remained in use the Maniple was not 
allowed to rest on the wrist until the priest was about to 
ascend the altar-steps. Then the Chasuble was folded up 
by the deacon and subdeacon, and the left arm being thus 
entirely free, the Maniple was fastened to it, and thus 
did it remain until the end of Mass. A vestige of this 
ancient practice is yet preserved in a Bishop's Mass, where 
the Maniple is not fastened to the prelate's wrist until the 
" indulgentiam" — that is, a little before he ascends the 

According to the best authorities, the Maniple served the 
purpose of a handkerchief until about the twelfth century. 
After this it became a liturgical ornament (Kozma, Liturg. 
Sacr. Cathol, 44), with no other office but a symbolic one. 
Our holy Church is always loath to part with any of her 
ancient apparel. 

Material of the Maniple. — Whilst the Maniple served as a 
handkerchief it used to be made of fine white linen, and 
was frequently carried in the hand during divine service 
instead of being fastened to the wrist ; but when it passed 
into a liturgical ornament, then the material of which it was 
made changed to suit thafu of the Stole and Chasuble. In 
some parts of England it was customary to attach little bells 
of gold and silver to its edging (Dr. Rock, Church of Our 
Fathers, i. 422). 

The Maniple is put on with the following prayer : " May 

The Maniple. 45 

I deserve, Lord ! to bear the Maniple of weeping and sor- 
row, in order that I may joyfully reap the reward of my 
labors." The reference in the words "weeping and sor- 
row " is to what frequently occurred in days gone by during 
the sacred ministrations at the altar, when many holy 
men wept, sometimes with joy at being allowed to assist at 
so tremendous a sacrifice, and sometimes with sorrow for 
their unworthiness. Durandus, in his Rationale Divi- 
norum, p. 110, says that St. Arsenius used to be so affected. 

Mystical Meaning. — The mystical meaning, then, of the 
Maniple is that it reminds the priest of the trials and 
troubles of this life, and the reward that awaits him if he 
bears them in a Christian-like manner. 

Maniple of the Orientals. — The Orientals wear two Mani- 
ples, one on each arm, which are usually denominated Epi- 
manikia, a barbarous word, from the Greek ini, upon, 
and the Latin manus, a hand — that is, something worn 
upon the hand. In form the Epimanikia differ from our 
Maniple considerably, although there is no doubt but that 
at one time both served the same purpose. They are 
shaped somewhat like the large, loose sleeves of a surplice, 
and are fastened to the wrist by a silken string. The 
rule requires that they be fastened tightly, for they are 
intended to remind the wearer of the cords that fastened 
our Lord's hands to the pillar of flagellation. 

The Oriental bishops are accustomed to wear upon their 
Maniples an icon, or image of our Divine Saviour, which 
they present to the people to be kissed. 

With the Syrians the Epimanikia are called Zendo ; with 
the Armenians, Pasban ; with the Russians, Poruche 
(hand-pieces) ; and with the Copts, Manicm. 

A Russian priest, in donning these articles, says, when 
putting on the right-hand one: "The right hand of the 
Lord hath pre-eminence ; the right hand of the Lord 

46 Sacred Vestments. 

bringeth mighty things to pass"; and when putting on 
the left-hand one : " Thy hands have made me and fash- 
ioned me ; oh ! give me understanding, that I may learn thy 
commandments." In the sentence, " the right hand of the 
Lord hath pre-eminence," there is a reference to the tradi- 
tion that the Jews first nailed our Saviour's right hand to 
the cross, and then the left (see Goar, Euchologium Grcs- 
corum, p. Ill ; Neale, Holy Eastern Church, vol. i. p. 307 ; 
Eenaudot, Liturg. Orient. Collect., i. 162 ; Denzinger, 
Ritus Orientalium, p. 131 ; and G-avantus, Thesaur, Sacr. 
Rit., 131). 


The Stole ranks fifth in the catalogue. It is a long band 
of precious cloth, of the same width as the Maniple, but 
about three times its length. It is worn round the neck 
and crossed on the breast, in which position it is kept by 
the Cincture. It is universally admitted that originally 
the Stole was very similar to the modern Alb, and that, like 
the latter, it used to envelop the entire person (Durandus, 
Rationale Divinorum, lib. iii., v. 6, p. 108). 

According to Cardinal Bona (Rer. Liturg., 282), what we 
now call a Stole is nothing else but the ornamental band 
that used to form the selvage of what was really the Stole of 
the ancients ; and that as soon as the practice of wearing 
that kind of Stole went into desuetude the band was re- 
tained as a sort of memorial of it, just as the Maniple is a 
memorial of the ancient Sudarium, or handkerchief. 

Who may Wear the Stole.— The right to wear the Stole 
begins from the time of one's ordination as deacon. The 
deacon, however, cannot wear it as a priest does — that is, 
around both shoulders — but only as yet over the left shoul- 
der, and fastened at the right side ; and this to remind him 
of his inferiority in orders to a priest, and of his obligation 

The Stole. 47 

to be as little encumbered as possible, especially about the 
right hand, when acting as his assistant minister. Upon 
this head the fourth Council of Toledo, held in a.d. 633, 
under Pope Honorius I., issued the following directions : 
" The levite (deacon) ought to wear one Orarion (Stole) on 
his left shoulder when he prays ; but he must have the right 
shoulder free, to the end that he may be the more expedi- 
tious in administering to the wants of the priest " (Bona, 
Eer. Liturg., 282). 

The bishop wears the Stole pendent on both sides, without 
crossing it on the breast as a priest does, and this because 
he wears a cross already on his breast — viz., the Pectoral 
Cross 4 — whereby this necessity is obviated (Gavantus, 134). 

The prayer recited by the priest while vesting himself with 
the Stole is worded thus : " Eestore to me, Lord ! the Stole 
of immortality which I lost through the transgression of my 
first parents, and, though I approach unworthily to celebrate 
thy sacred Mystery, may I merit nevertheless eternal joy." 

Many of the Anglo-Saxon Stoles and Maniples had lit- 
tle bells of silver and gold attached to them, which made 
a most agreeable, delicate sound whenever the sacred minis- 
ter changed his position. Dr. Eock, in his Church of Our 
Fathers, vol. i. p. 415, note 60, tells us that there was once 
kept at Liege, in the Abbey Church of Wazor, the Stole of 
St. Foraunan, an Irish bishop who died in a.d. 982 while 
abbot of that monastery, which had hanging from its ex- 

* The Pectoral Cross was originally a reliquary case, and received its shape from the 
fact that it used generally to contain a splinter of the true cross upon which our Lord 
was crucified. The reliquary, or neck-cross, as it used to he anciently called, worn hy 
Pope Gregory the Great, was made of thin silver. Those now in use date no further 
back than the sixteenth century (Dr. Rock, Church of Our Fathers, vol. ii. 174). The 
Eastern bishops wear hanging from their necks what is called the Panhagia, a Greek 
word meaning " all-holy," in which there is inserted an enamelled medallion of our 
Lord and his Blessed Mother. This is often very richly ornamented with precious 
Btonea. It is suspended by a golden chain (Romanoff, Greco-Bwsian Church, 399). 

48 Sacred Vestments. 

tremities a number of little silver bells. These little bells 
were sometimes as many as twenty-seven (ibid.) 

Stole of the Orientals.— The Stole of the Orientals, gene- 
rally known as the Epitrachelion, from the Greek int, 
upon, and rpaxv^ov, the neck, is somewhat different 
from ours ; for instead of being parted, so as to allow it to 
hang down equally on each side, it is made of one piece oi 
stuff, with a seam worked along its middle, and having an 
opening at the top wide enough to allow the priest's head 
to pass through. It hangs down, when worn at Mass, in 
front of the priest, reaching nearly to the instep. 

The Copts call the Stole Bitarshil ; the Syrians, Ouroro ; 
the Armenians, Ourar (Goar, Euchol. Grcec, p. Ill ; 
Neale's Holy Eastern Church, i. 308 ; Denzinger, Ritus 
Orient., 133). 

Touching the origin of this word ourar, or orarium, as 
applied to the Stole in ancient manuscripts and liturgical 
writings, there has always been much dispute. We incline, 
for our part, to the side of those who derive it from the 
Greek Spa, an hour, because it was by waving the Ora- 
rium that the deacon pointed out the different hours or 
stages during divine service at which the choir would sing 
or the congregation pray. And this is in keeping with the 
Oriental discipline yet. It must be remembered, too, that 
the name Orarion was peculiar only to the Stole of the 
deacon ; that of the priest was always called Epitrachelion. 

We had almost forgotten to mention that at one time, at 
least as far back as the ninth century, priests and bishops, 
even when they were not in church, always wore the Stole 
as part of their ecclesiastical dress and as a distinctive mark 
of their dignity. The Council of Mayence, held in a.d. 
813 under Pope Leo III., thus decreed upon this subject : 
" Let priests use the Stole without intermission, on account 
of the difference of the priestly dignity." According to the 


MgR5£ti Priest in wuBLfm 


\5. — 



Tlie Chasuble. 49 

present discipline, only the Pope wears the Stole in common 
daily life, and this in evidence of his jurisdiction over the 
universal Church (Kozma, Liturg. Sacr. Cathol., p. 46). 
The papal Stole is ornamented with three crosses, the keys, 
and tiara (ibid.) 


The Chasuble, so called from the Latin casula, a little 
house (for, according to its ancient form, it enveloped the 
entire person of the priest, leaving nothing but the head 
visible), is the last in the catalogue of sacred vestments. 
In its present disposition it is open at both sides, and, as 
it rests on the priest, it reaches down in front to about the 
knees, and a few inches further behind. Its material is 
required to be of precious cloth, such as brocade, silk, or 
the like ; and its color one of the five mentioned in the 
rubrics — viz., white, red, violet, green, or black. Without 
a dispensation from the Holy See no other kind of Chasuble 
may be used. 

According to liturgical writers generally, ^he ancient 
ample-flowing Chasuble was in use up to the sixteenth 
century (Kozma, Liturg. Sacr. Cathol., 49), but after that 
period a practice of clipping it set in, first at the shoulders 
and then down the sides, until it assumed its present 
shape, which, strange to say, was the work of private indi- 
vidual fancy rather than of any express wish or command 
on the part of the Church. ( ' Id vero minime," says 
Mgr. Saussay, the learned Bishop of Toul, "contigisse 
ex ullo Pontificum judicio, ecclesiaeque lege, sed ex privato 
genio quorundam" (Dr. Rock, Church of Our Fathers, 
vol. i. 329). Cardinal Bona makes the same assertion (Rer. 
Liturg., lib. i. cap. xxiv. p. 237, ed. Sala), and so does 
Honorius of Autun. 

The cause generally assigned for changing the ancient 

50 Sacred Vestments. 

form of the Chasuble was the difficulty that prevailed foi 
a long time, especially about the sixteenth century, of 
procuring suitable pliant material for making it ; for if 
made of hard, stiff, board-like cloth as it now is, while its 
ancient shape was preserved, it would greatly encumber the 
priest in his ministrations at the altar. Since, however, 
nothing else could be conveniently had but this stiff mate- 
rial, in order to save the Chasuble as much as possible from 
the wear and tear occasioned by lifting and folding it up so 
often during the Mass, it was deemed advisable to cut a slit 
in both sides of it, and in this way its present shape ori- 

Another reason, too, and a very good one at that, contri- 
buted much towards effecting this change. As long as the 
ancient form was in use the difficulty of celebrating Mass 
without the aid of deacon and subdeacon was very great, for 
the Chasuble of the celebrant needed folding and lifting up 
at several parts of the service ; and as it was not at all times 
easy to have assistant ministers, and as private Masses became 
more frequent, a form of Chasuble which the priest himself 
could manage seemed to be a desideratum ; and this, as much 
as anything else, was the cause of introducing Chasubles of 
the present make (see Hierurgia, p. 440 ; Les Ceremonies de 
VEglise, par M. De Conny, p. 256). 

The reader will see with what indignation this change in 
the style of the Chasuble was viewed at first from the fol- 
lowing words thundered forth by De Vert.* Speaking of 

• Claudius De Vert was a monk of Cluny and a native of Paris. His death is placed 
In 1701. He wrote a great work on the ceremonies, etc., of the Church, four volumes. 
In which he made himself singularly remarkable, and not unfrequently ridicu- 
lous, by looking for literal and natural meanings, wholly disregarding mystical ones, 
in everything that was done at Mass. Durandus is about as exact a match for him on 
the opposite side as could possibly be found. The Rationale Divinorum of this latter- 
named author is one of the most curious books ever written, and, to our mind, one of 
the most fanciful and mystical. 

The Chasuble, 51 

vestment-makers, he says : " They are allowed to have the 
liberty of nibbling, clipping, cutting, slashing, shortening, 
just as the whim may take, Chasubles, Dalmatics, Tunicles, 
and other priestly garments or ornaments which serve for 
the ministry of the altar ; in a word, to give these robes 
what shape they like, without consulting the bishop on the 
matter" (Church of Our Fathers, vol. i. p. 330, note). 

The prayer recited in putting on the Chasuble is as fol- 
lows : " Lord ! who hast said, ' My yoke is sweet and my 
burden light,' grant that I may so carry it as to merit thy 
grace." In its figurative signification, the Chasuble is 
usually emblematic of charity, on account of its covering 
the entire person, as charity ought to cover the soul. 

Chasuble of the Orientals. — The ancient form of Chasuble 
is yet in use with all the Oriental churches, whether 
Catholic or schismatic. The Maronites have obtained per- 
mission from the Holy See to use our form, but whether 
they do so or not we have been unable to learn. 

The Coptic Chasuble, which the natives call ATbornos, 
has an ornamental border at the top worked in gold, and 
denominated Tkohlia ; the Arabs call it Kaslet. This, 
however, is not common to all the orders of their clergy, 
but is rather the Chasuble of a bishop (Denzinger, Ritus 
Oriental, p. 130). 

Many of the Greek Chasubles are covered over with a 
multiplicity of small crosses, to remind the priest that he is 
the minister of a crucified Master, whose Passion should 
be ever before his eyes. In the Eussian Church the bishop's 
Chasuble has a number of little bells attached to the right 
and left sides, and also to the sleeves (Komanoff, Greco- 
Russian Church, pp. 89 and 399). 

The Nestorian Chasuble is a square piece of cloth, of 
linen or calico, having a cross in the centre. They call it 
Shoshippa (Badger, Nestorians and their Rituals, i. p. 226). 

52 Sacred Vestments, 

The Chasuble of the Hungarian Greeks is so clipped in 
front that it hardly covers the breast (Kozma, Liturg. 
Sacr. Cathol., p. 48, note 6). 

The Chasuble of the Russian priests is now of the same 
style (Neale, Holy Eastern Church, i. 309). 

The Syrians call the Chasuble Philono, a word evidently 
allied to the general denomination of the vestment with 
the Greeks — viz., Phainolion — and the ancient Latin name, 

In concluding our article on the vestments, we have 
thought it appropriate to append what the best authori- 
ties have said concerning the reference of each to our Di- 
vine Lord. We take our remarks from Gavantus (Thesaur. 
Sacr. Pit., p. 137) : 

1. The Amice is the veil which covered the face of our 

2. The Alb, the vesture he was clothed in by Herod. 

3. The Cincture, the scourge ordered by Pilate. 

4. The Maniple, the rope by which he was led. 

5. The Stole, the rope which fastened him to the pillar. 

6. The Chasuble, the purple garment worn before Pilate. 
The reader need hardly be told that all the vestments 

must be blessed by the bishop before being used at the altar. 
Faculties to do this are generally enjoyed by ordinary priests 
in missionary countries. 

There are four other articles of clerical attire, which, 
though not denominated sacred vestments, yet, because of the 
important part they fill, we would consider it a great over- 
sight to pass by in silence. These are the Berretta, 
Zucchetto, Collar, and Cassock. 


The Berretta (Italian), a sort of diminutive of the Latin 
birrus, a cape or hood, is a square cap, with three corners 

Tlie Berretta. 53 

or prominences rising from its crown, and having, for the 
most part, a tassel depending. When lirst introduced, 
which is generally supposed to have been soon after the 
ninth century, it bad none of these corners, but was pliant 
and plain, something like an ordinary cap. The difficulty, 
however, of putting it on and adjusting it properly on the 
head while it continued in this way was sometimes veiy 
great, and hence it was deemed advisable to have it so fash- 
ioned that it could be put on and taken oif without any 
trouble. This led to the introduction of the three corners, 
which are also symbolic of the Blessed Trinity (Ferraris, 
Bibliotheca, art. Bir). 

Color of the Berretta. — The Berretta has but two varieties 
of color — viz., red and black. Eed is peculiar and proper 
to cardinals, and to them alone. Black is the color for 
all other ecclesiastics, from cardinals down, whether patri- 
archs, archbishops, bishops, or priests. According to rule, 
a bishop's Berretta should be lined with green ; in all other 
respects it differs in nothing from that worn by a priest 
(Martinucci, Manuale Sacr. Ccerem., v. p. 11 ; De Herdt, 
Praxis Pontificalis, i. pp. 44 and 45). 

Cardinal's Berretta. — A cardinal's Berretta is generally 
made of red silk. It has no tassel to it, and never any 
more than three corners. A four-cornered Berretta is ex- 
clusively the cap of a doctor of divinity, and he can wear it 
by right only when teaching in the doctor's chair (Bou- 
rry. Explicatio Rubricarum, etc., ii. 216, 217). 

Ceremonies employed in Conferring the Doctor's Cap.' — 
By a recent decision of the Holy See the insignia of the 
doctorate — i.e., the cap and ring — cannot be conferred upon 

• The right of conferring the decree of doctor of divinity, with its insignia and 
the privileges attached, is enjoyed only hy three institutions in the United States— 
viz., hy the Jesnit colleges of Georgetown. D. C , and Spring Hill Alahama, and h5 
the Sulpician Seminary of St. Mary's, Baltimore. 

54 Sacrea vestments. 

any one who is not, together with being duly skilled in di- 
vinity, also of high standing in a moral point of view, and 
sound and solid in the faith. To this end, a profession of 
faith (that of Pope Pius IV.) is first exacted of the candi- 
date on his knees, and he must swear that he will defend 
this faith even unto the shedding of his blood, if required. 

Furthermore, he is to swear assent to the following arti* 
cles, read to him by the person conferring the degree : 

First. That he will never teach or write intentionally 
anything that is repugnant to Holy Scripture, tradition, 
the definitions of General Councils, or to the decrees of 
the Supreme Pontiffs. 

Secondly. That he will be watchful in doing his share to 
preserve the unity of the Church, and not let the seamless 
garment of Christ be rent by divisions ; also that he will be 
studious in seeing due honor paid to the Supreme Pontiff, 
and obedience and reverence to his own bishop. 

Thirdly. He will swear to defend the Christian, Catho- 
lic, and Apostolic faith, to the effusion of blood. 

After this the various prerogatives and privileges that are 
attached to the "D.D." are read, and the four-cornered 
cap and the ring are imposed. A book is then put into 
his hands— generally a theological work— as evidence of his 
right to the honors conferred upon him ; and, if the whole 
ceremony be fully carried out, he is to be led to the doctor's 
chair, where, in pledge of brotherly feeling towards him, 
all the other doctors present impart to him a kiss. 

It is customary on such occasions for the newly-created 
doctor to make an address in Latin to all the professors in 
the audience, and to express his thanks for the elevation to 
which he has been raised. 

We have said that only cardinals wear a Berretta of a red 
color. This privilege was first granted them by Pope Paul 
II. in 1460 ; but the privilege of wearing the red hat goes 

2%e Berretta. 55 

back to the Council of Lyons, A.D. 1245, where it was grant- 
ed by Pope Innocent IV. This, however, was only to car- 
dinal legates ; but the privilege was extended, in short, to 
all without exception, as was also the right to wear their 
other articles of dress of the same color. The precise sym- 
bolism attached to the red is that their Eminences must be 
ready to defend the rights of the Holy See even unto the 
shedding of blood (see Kozma, p. 72, note 2). 

The Pope never wears a Berretta, but uses instead a tight- 
fitting cap, always white in color, called a Solideo, from the 
Latin solus and Deus, because it is only to God that he 
doffs it — that is, at the more solemn parts of the Mass. To 
no earthly ruler does the Pope ever take off this cup. Its 
material is usually white silk ; and on its crown a large but- 
ton is sewed to facilitate its being taken off and put on. 

We have said that a four-cornered Berretta is peculiar to 
a doctor of divinity. From time immemorial, however, the 
clergy of France, Germany, and Spain have been accustomed 
to wear Berrettas of this kind (Bouvry, in loc. cit.) 

In some of the French universities, in days gone by, the 
cap of a doctor ox divinity used to be ornamented with a 
white silk tassel ; that of a canonist with a green one ; and 
a doctor's in civil law (D.C.L.) with a red one having a 
purple tuft in the middle. 

In Germany the latter were allowed a scarlet cap. In 
the celebrated college of Salamanca, in Spain, in addition to 
the cap, which was black, but decorated with a large tassel 
of white silk, the " Beca" was also conferred, a curious kind 
of hood of red silk, which lay in graceful folds on the shoul- 
ders of the wearer (Rock, Church of Our Fathers, p. 70, 
vol. ii.) 

When the Berretta may be worn.-— Besides being worn in 
every-day life, the Berretta is also allowed to be worn in the 
sanctuary during the less solemn portions of the Mass- A* 

56 Sacred Vestments. 

the altar, however, when in actual celebration, no one may 
wear it, not even the greatest dignitary. The discipline in 
this respect is very strict, and admits of but one exception 
throughout the entire Church — viz., in case of the Catholic 
missionaries of the empire of China. It is well known how 
indecent it is held by the Chinese for a person to appear m 
public with head uncovered. A greater insult you could not 
offer one of these people than to violate this part of etiquette. 
Having these things in view, and remembering the salutary 
admonition of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, of becoming 
" all to all people in order to gain all to Christ," our Holy 
Father Pope Paul V., of blessed memory (1G05-1621), grant- 
ed to the missionaries of the Chinese Empire the privilege 
of wearing the Berretta all through Mass, even at the Con- 
secration, with one proviso, however — that the said Berret- 
ta be not the one used in every-day life. In no other part 
of the world is this privilege enjoyed (De Montor, Lives 
of the Popes, vol. i. p. 943). 

Berretta of the Orientals. — The Oriental Berretta differs 
considerably from ours in shape. That of the Greeks is 
round and close-fitting, and is generally of a violet color. 
Attached to it behind is an appendage shaped like a tri- 
angle, which the Greeks call nepiGTepct, peristera, or the 
dove, from its resemblance to the tail of that bird. It is 
intended to remind the priest that the grace of his holy 
ministry depends on the Holy Ghost, whom the dove sym- 
bolizes (Goar, Euehol. Graze, 157). Throughout Russia 
all the " Black Clergy " T wear a high cap resembling a hat 
without a crown, having a veil covering it, which falls be- 
hind on the shoulders. This the Russians call Klobouk, 

'The division of the Russian clergy into the "White" and "Black Clergy" is not 
from any peculiar distinction in dress, but only from their different modes of life. The 
term Black is applied to those who live in monasteries. All the rest are denominated 
White, no matter what the color of their dress may be (Gagarin, Human Clergy, In- 

The Zucchetto. 57 

but its Greek name is Kamelauchwn (Mouravieff, History 
of the Russian Church, notes, p. 399). 

The Greek bishops, who never wear a mitre like ours, use 
a sort of low hat without a peak, over which a large veil 
is cast, something after the manner of the original Koman 
birrus (Neale, Holy Eastern Church, i. 314). They per- 
form all the preliminary offices of the liturgy with this on 
their heads. 

The cap of the schismatical Patriarch of Alexandria is 
crown-shaped, and is never removed at any part of divme 
service. This privilege is also assumed by the Patriarch of 
the Nestorians, who wears his cap even while distributing 
Holy Communion. All the rest of the Orientals celebrate 
with heads uncovered like ourselves (Goar, Euchol., 157 and 
220 ; Neale, in loc. cit. ; Denzinger, Ritus Oriental., 132). 

The Coptic Berretfca differs hardly in anything from the 
Greek, save that it has its crown ornamented with a vari- 
ety of small crosses. The name they call it by is Cidar. 


The Zucchetto, from the Italian zuccha, a gourd, is a 
small, closely-fitting skull-cap, shaped like a saucer, and of 
a red, violet, or black color, according to the rank of the 
wearer. Originally it was introduced to protect that part 
of the head which had been made bare by the so-called cleri- 
cal tonsure, 8 but now it is worn irrespective of the laws 
which regulated this ancient discipline. 

• In ancient times there were three different forms of clerical tonsure. 1st. That of 
St. Peter, or the Roman, by which the top of the head was cleanly shaved, and the 
base left with an edging or crown of hair to symbolize the Crown of Thorns. 2d. 
That of St. Paul, in which the entire head was shaved, leaving no hair at all. 3d. That 
of St. John the Evangelist, in which the front of the head was shaved so as to resembla 
a crescent, and the hair allowed to fall down upon the back. This last was the form m 
use with the Irish and Britons up to the time of Colman, Bishop of Lindisfarne, a.d. 

58 &*&ea Vestments. 

When the Zucchetto may be worn. — As the Zucchetto is 
not exactly considered a cap, it has privileges which the ber- 
retta never enjoys, for it can be worn upon occasions when the 
use of the latter would be wholly forbidden. Permission is 
often granted to wear it in the very act of celebrating, during 
the less solemn portions of the Mass — i.e., from the begin- 
ning to the Preface, exclusive, and from the end of Com- 
munion to the completion of service. It must never be 
worn during the Canon, and permission to wear it at the 
times named must be had direct from the Pope. In case 
the celebrant should have permission to wear a wig he is 
never bound to remove it, for it ranks neither as a Berretta 
nor Zucchetto, but is rather esteemed as one's own hair. 
Permission to wear it, however, is very rarely granted by the 
Holy See. 

Color of the Zucchetto. — We have said that the color of 
the Zucchetto varies with the rank of the wearer. That 
worn by cardinals is always red; patriarchs, archbishops, 
and bishops wear a violet-colored one ; for all the rest of the 
clergy the color is black. The privilege of wearing a vio- 
let Zucchetto was not enjoyed by bishops until June, 1867, 
when the concession was made by his Holiness Pope Pius 
IX. This concession, however, concerned but the Zucchet- 
to, not the Berretta. The latter must be of the same color 
as that of a priest — viz., Mack (Martinucci, Manuale Cce- 
rem., v. 14). 

The Zucchetto is indifferently known by the several 

661, when the Roman form was adopted in its stead (Alzog's Church Hist., vol. ii. p. 88, 
note 3, and p. 91, hy Pabisch and Byrne). 

According to the Roman Pontifical, the bishop, when conferring tonsure, cuts off 
with scissors five locks of hair from the head of the candidate for orders ; the first, 
over the forehead ; the second, at the back of the head ; the third, at the right ear ; the 
fourth, at the left ear ; and the fifth, on the crown of the head. In no case is the hair 
cut so deep that the head is exposed. This is what constitutes the clerical tonsure, the 
initiative step to Sacred Orders, and that which raises a layman to the rank and im- 
munities of an ecclesiastic. 

The Collar. 59 

names Calotte, Pileolus, Berrettino, and Suomitrale. It is 
called Calotte in French, from its resemblance to a shell; 
Pileolus is the Latin diminutive of pileus, a Koman cap ; 
Berrettino is a diminutive of Berretta ; and it received its 
name Submitrale from the fact that it used to be generally 
worn under the bishop's mitre. In common parlance it 
is always spoken of as the Calotte or Zucchetto. 


The clerical Collar, generally styled the Roman Collar, 
and in French Rabat, was unknown as an article of eccle- 
siastical attire, at least in its present form, prior to the 
sixteenth century. The religious orders have, as a rule, 
never adopted it generally ; nor is it worn in the United 
States to any great extent, unless in a few dioceses where 
the statutes insist upon it as being the distinctive mark 
of a Catholic clergyman. Where it can be worn without 
exciting too much attention, or, as often happens in non- 
Catholic countries, exposing a priest to public insult, it 
ought to be ; for it is wonderful, to pass over many other 
reasons, how much Catholics are comforted by seeing in 
their company, if travelling abroad, or even walking the 
street, if at home, a priest arrayed in this distinctive 
habiliment. There is no mistaking him then for a min- 
ister of one of the sects. 

Before the . introduction of the Eoman Collar the arti- 
cle generally used was nothing else but a plain linen 
collar similar to those ordinarily used now by lay people, 
only a little wider. Some of the higher dignitaries wore 
frills, such as we see in paintings of the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries ; but these were forbidden to the in- 
ferior clergy, who were required to wear their Collars as 
plain as possible, without even starch to stiffen them, or 
plaits to adorn them in any way. In France, Belgium, and 

60 Sacred Vestments. 

Italy laws were enacted prohibiting lace or fancy needle- 
work to be used in making them up, for they were required 
to be of the plainest linen (Church of Our Fathers, vol. i. 
p. 474). 

According to its present disposition, the Collar itself 
is a slip of thin linen about two inches wide, and Ions? 
enough to encircle the neck of the wearer. This slip is 
folded down over a circular band or stock of some pliant 
but tolerably stiff material, such as fuller's board, to which 
is sewed a piece of cloth, generally large enough to cover 
the chest. The Collar is kept in its place by being buttoned 
behind or fastened to the neck by strings. 

The Collar, like the other articles of clerical attire men- 
tioned, varies in color with the dignity of the wearer. That 
of a cardinal is red; a bishop's, violet; a monsignore's, also 
violet ; and a priest's, black. Canons, for the most part, 
wear one of Hack, with red buttons down the centre, and 
red trimmings. 

Prothonotaries apostolic, of the class known as the partici- 
pantes, who always rank as prelates, have the privilege of 
wearing a violet Collar like a bishop ; but not so those who 
rank only as prothonotaries titular es, or honorary prothono- 
taries ; theirs is black like a priest's (Manuale Decretorum 
de Proton. ApZste., 753 and 759). 


The Cassock, called in French Cosaque, but more com- 
monly Soutane, is that long outer black garment worn by 
priests in every-day life and at all the sacred functions. It 
is called in Latin Vestis talaris, from its reaching down to 
the feet. With many of the religious orders it is called 
the habit, and instead of being buttoned in front, as is the 
case generally with the secular clergy, it is fastened to the 
person by a large cincture. 

The Cassock. $\ 

In ancient times the Cassock used to be known as the 
Pellicea, or Pelisse, partly from the fact that it used to be 
made of the skins of animals, and partly also because in 
most cases it used to be lined with fur. Hence the origin 
of the word surplice — something worn oyer the Peliss* 
(Kozma, 49). 

Color of the Cassock. — The color of the Cassock varies 
with the rank of the person and the religious order to 
which he belongs. Cardinals wear one of red generally, 
but during seasons of penance and mourning the color is 
violet. The color of a bishop's Cassock is violet, but on 
the occasions mentioned violet is changed for black. With 
priests who are not members of any particular order 
black is the color always. 

The Camaldolese/ Cistercians, 10 Carthusians, 11 and Domi- 
nicans 12 wear white Cassocks. The Silvestrians 13 wear one 
of dark blue ; the Third Order of Franciscans, 14 the Minor 
Conventuals, 16 and Minor Observants 16 wear an ash-colored 
one ; the Jeromites 17 gray. When a member from any of 
these orders is promoted to the cardinalate he retains the 
color peculiar to his order, as far as the Cassock is concern- 
ed, but the berretta, zucchetto, and hat must be always 
scarlet (Martinucci, Manuale Ccerem., vi. 505). 

The privilege of wearing a scarlet-colored Cassock was 
granted to the doctors in theology and canon law of the 
University of Paris by Pope Benedict XII. The same 
pontiff is supposed to have extended the like privilege to 

» The Camaldolese, founded by St. Eomuald in the early part of the eleventh ceD 
tury. So called from Maldoli, the name of the person who bestowed the ground upo?.' 
them in the Apennines in the eleventh century. 10 So called from Cisterze, diocese of 
Chalons ; founded by St. Robert, Abbot of Moh sme, in 1098. " So called from Char- 
treuse, in France ; founded by St. Bruno in 1 484. 12 Founded by St. Dominic, « 
Spaniard, in 1215 ; called also Preaching Friar . 13 Called Silvestrians from tbeU 
founder, Silvester Gozzolino, 1230. 14 The Thin Order of Franciscans, or Terharia^ 
was founded in 1221. 16 A branch of the Frai iscans, established soon after 13091 
M A branch of the Franciscans, established soon \fter 1302. 1T Founded in thw Jour 
teenth century by a number of solitaries. 

6fc Sacred Vestments, 

Oxford (Church of Our Fathers, ii. 19, note 47). The 
Cassocks worn by the students of many of the European 
colleges have large pendants behind like wings. These com- 
memorate a fashion once very prevalent in Borne, where 
tutors, in accompanying their pupils to school, held these 
pendants in their hands as evidence of their watchfulness 
over them. 

Color of the Pope's Cassock. — In every-day life, and on all 
solemn occasions, the Pope wears a Cassock of white silk 
(Kozma, Lit. Sacra Caihol., 72). This custom, it is said, 
dates from apostolic times, St. James the Less, first Bishop 
of Jerusalem, being its introducer. As his life states, this 
Apostle always appeared in fine white linen garments. St. 
Cyril assures us that the Patriarch of Jerusalem always ap- 
peared in white ; and it is also said that St. Peter used to wear 
garments of this color, in memory of the shining garments 
in which our Divine Lord appeared to him on the occa- 
sion of the Transfiguration on Thabor (see Metropolitan, 
" Letters from Abroad," January, 1855). 

All the popes of primitive times, as we see from ancient 
mosaics, were vested in white ; so it may be very lawfully 
conjectured that the custom is as ancient as we have stated 
it to be. 


The Church employs at the present day five different 
colors in her sacred vestments — viz., white, red, green, violet, 
and Hack. Up to the sixth century she rarely used any 
color but white (Kozma, 73) ; and in the time of Pope 
Innocent III. (thirteenth century) there was no such color 
in use as violet, for that pontiff makes no mention of this 
color when he names the four employed in his day {Be Sacr. 
Altar is Myster., p. 86). That violet, however, was intro- 
duced soon after this pontiff's book appeared, is evident from 

Colors of the Vestments, 63 

Durandus, who flourished about the year 1280 (Pope Inno- 
cent IIL died in 1 215), for in his great work, entitled Ra- 
tionale Divinorum, violet is specially mentioned. 

White, being symbolic of purity, innocence, and glory, is, 
as a general rule, employed on the special feasts of our Lord 
and the Blessed Virgin, and on those of the angels, virgins, 
and confessors. 

Red, the symbol of fortitude, is the color proper to Pen- 
tecost, in memory of the "tongues of fire " ; it is also used 
on the feasts of the apostles and martyrs, and on those of 
our Lord's Passion. 

Green, symbolic of hope, is used as the color of the time 
from the octave of the Epiphany to Septuagesima, and from 
the octave of Pentecost to Advent. 

Violet, the penitential color, is used on all occasions of 
public affliction and sorrow, in times of fasting and penance, 
and in all those processions which do not immediately con- 
cern the Blessed Sacrament. This color is also used on the 
Feast of the Holy Innocents, on account of the lamentations 
and weepings heard through Jerusalem when they were mas- 
sacred by order of Herod. But should this feast fall on 
Sunday, the color of the occasion is red, as is also the color 
of the octave, from the fact that the lamentations taken up 
are supposed to have ceased by this time, and the eighth 
day is always significant of beatitude and glory (De Herdt, 
Sacr. Liturg. Praxis, i, p. 190; Bouvry, Expos. Ruhr., ii. 

Black, from its gloomy appearance, and because it is the 
negation of all color, is used in Masses and Offices of the 
Dead, and on Good Friday in memory of the profound dark- 
ness that covered the land when our Lord was crucified. 

In ancient times it was customary with many churches to 
wear saffron-colored vestments on this latter day, to recall 
to mind the bitter vindictiveness of the Jews in putting our 

64 Sacred Vestments, 

Saviour to death, saffron being indicative of bile. Writing 
upon this, Bellotte thus remarks : " Croceo namque seu ilavo 
colori bills assimilatur, cujus sedes et imperium in praecor- 
diis et visceribus Judaeorum nedum iram sed et irae f urorem 
provocavit adversus Dominum et adversus Christum ejus " 
{Church of Our Fathers, ii. 263). For this same reason it 
was that the traitor Judas, in all mediaeval paintings, is de- 
picted with hair a shade of color between red and yellow. 
The Jews themselves were obliged, up to a recent date, to 
wear in many countries a yellow badge,so that all might know 
them from the rest of the people (ibid.) 

Local Customs and Privileges. — In France red used to be 
used on feasts of the Blessed Sacrament instead of white. 
In Spain the rare privilege of using sky-blue vestments on 
feasts of the Blessed Virgin has been enjoyed for some time 
past. Some, however, restrict this privilege to the Feast of 
the Immaculate Conception ; but we have not been able to 
learn whether it is so restricted or not. A set purchased 
for this occasion in 1843 cost the enormous sum of $14,000 
(Dublin Revieiv, 1845, article Spain, vol. xviii. ; Church 
of Our Fathers, ii. 259, note 32). That blue-colored vest- 
ments were once common in England, we have the most un- 
deniable proofs. In Dugdale's history of St. Paul's," Lon* 
don, we find enumerated among that cathedral's goods in 
1295 several vestments of a blue color ; and in an inventory 

18 St. Paul's Church, London, was at one time one of the most venerable churches in 
existence. The cathedral known as "Old St. Paul's " dates from the time of Bishop 
Maurice, a.d. 1080. This wonderful edifice was nearly six hundred feet in length, and 
the summit of the spire rose to within a short distance of five hundred feet from the 
ground. It was made of wood covered with lead, and had relics placed in the ball 
beneath the cross. On Candlemas eve, 1444, the spire was struck by lightning and 
partly destroyed. One of the greatest treasures and curiosities that this church pos- 
sessed for some time was a relic of the Holy Blood, sent from Jerusalem to King 
Henry III. by the Knights of St. John and those of the Order of Templars. This pre- 
cious gift was afterwards conveyed to Westminster Abbey, where an indulgence of six 
years and one hundred days was granted all who visited it with the proper dispositiong 
{Ecclesiastical Antiquities of London, by Alex. Wood, M.A.) 

Colors of the Vestments. 65 

of the Church of Lincoln there is mentioned " a chesable 
of blew damask, a cope of the same color, a cope of cloth of 
gold, a bawdkin of blew color" {Church of Our Fathers, ii. 
260, note 33). Bishop Wykeham bequeathed to his church 
at Windsor " his new vestment of blue cloth, striped and 
embroidered with lions of gold " {ibid.) 

According to the Sarum Rite, there was no other color 
used through Lent but red. The great minster of Peter- 
borough had twenty-seven " red albs " for Passion Week. 
The Ambrosian Rite also prescribed red for the same season, 
and so did many churches of France {ibid.) 

On the third Sunday of Advent and the fourth Sunday 
of Lent, called respectively " Gaudete " and " Lsetare" Sun- 
days, 19 from the Introits on these days beginning with those 
words, cardinals wear, instead of their usual color, that of 
pale rose ; and this is required to be the color also of 
their out-door dress on these occasions (Martinucci, vi. 

From an ancient Irish book called the Leabhar Breac, 
supposed to be written about the sixth century, the follow- 
ing curious extract is given by Dr. Moran, now Bishop of 
Ossory, in his Discipline of the Early Irish Church. It 
relates to the colors of the sacred vestments : 

" The priest's mind should agree with the variety and 
meaning of each distinct color, and should be filled with 

" The fourth Sunday of Lent is what is known as the " Sunday of the Golden Rose," 
from a custom observed at Rome of blessing a rose made of pure gold mixed with musk 
and balsam. The ceremony is performed by the Pope himself, and the rose thus 
blessed is carried in solemn procession in the hand of the pontiff to and from his 
chapel on this Sunday. The rose, symbolic of the eternal bloom and freshness of 
Paradise, is afterwards bestowed as a mark of special favor on some great potentate 
who has done service to the Holy See Pope Pius IX. sent a Golden Rose to Maria 
Theresa, Queen of Naples, for the kindness extended him by her and her husband 
when he was obliged to flee to Gaeta in 1848. He sent one also to the Empress 
Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III., and to Elizabeth, Empress of Austria (Kozma, 330 1 
Sacramentals, by Rev. W, J. Barry, p. 110). 

66 Sacred Vestments. 

vigilance and awe, and be withdrawn from ambition and 
pride, when he reflects on what the various colors typify. 

" The white typifies that he should be filled with confusion 
and shame if his heart be not chaste and shining, and his 
mind like the foam of the wave, or like the chalk on the 
gable of an oratory, or like the color of the swan in the 
sunshine — that is, without any particle of sin, great or 
small, resting in it. 

" The red typifies that his heart should start and tremble 
in his breast through terror and fear of the Son of God, 
for the scars and wounds of the Son of God were red upon 
the cross when he was crucified by the unbelieving Jews. 

" The green typifies that he should be filled with great 
faintness and distress of mind and heart ; for what is under- 
stood by it is his interment at the end of his life, under the 
mould of the earth, for green is the original color of all 
the earth. 

" The purple typifies that he should call to mind Jesus, 
who is in heaven in the plenitude of his glory and majesty, 
and with the nine orders of angels who praise the Creator 
throughout all eternity. 

" The Hack typifies that he should shed bitter tears for 
his sins, lest he be condemned to the society of the devil 
and dwell perpetually in endless pain." 

From all this we clearly see that even so far back as the 
sixth century some churches had all the colors in use that 
we have now. 

We conclude our remarks on sacred vestments by saying 
that those made of pure cloth of gold are tolerated at the 
present day, and may be used instead of red, white, or 
green (S. R. C, 28th April, 1866, 3644 [2]). Those of any 
other material of a yellow color are wholly interdicted, and 
cannot be used without permission of the Holy See. 

Colors used by the Oriental Church.— The Greek Church 

Colors of the Vestments. 67 

uses but two colors the whole year round — viz., white and 
red, in memory of what the Spouse says in the Canticle of 
Canticles : "My beloved is white and ruddy." White is 
their general color ; red is used in all Masses for the dead 
and throughout the entire fast of Lent. According to the 
Greeks this latter color is better suited to Lent than any 
other, for during that season we are doing penance for the 
shedding of the innocent blood of our Divine Kedeemer 
(Goar, Euchol. Gr decorum, 113). 

Eenaudot tells us in his Commentary on the Liturgy of 
St. Basil, p. 160, that the Copts use no other color in their 
sacred vestments but white, and this for the reason that at 
his glorious transfiguration on Mt. Thabor it was in this 
brilliant color that our Lord appeared. One of the Coptic 
canons on this head reads as follows : "The vestments used 
for saying Mass ought to be of a white color, not of any 
other ; for Christ when transfigured had vestments on 
brilliant as light " (ibid. ) If we are to credit the reports of 
tourists to those regions, the Copts of to-day pay little 
regard to this canon, for vestments of every hue may be 
seen in use among them. 

The Maronites use the same colors as we do. 

The Syrians are partial to purple and green, and hence 
n happens not unfrequently that their chasubles unite 
these colors at one and the same time (Denzinger, 131). 

The Armenians allow their lectors to wear a cope of 
purple silk similar to our pluvial. Their exorcists wear one 
of hyacinth ; their acolytes of red {ibid. 133). 

According to Badger (The Nestorians and their Rituals, 
i. p. 226), the vestments of the Nestorians are white ; still, 
the same author tells us that their girdle and stole consist 
of a narrow band or scarf, with alternate white and blue 
crosses worked on squares of the same colors. 

Having now said all that to our mind it seemed necessary 

68 Sacred Vestments, 

to say about the sacred vestments and their colors, we pass 
on to another class of sacred appurtenances, called the 
vessels of the altar. 

It may be well to remark here — we intended doing so 
earlier, but forgot it — that inasmuch as our book is not a 
Ceremonial, the reader must not expect to find in it all those 
little points and exceptions to rules which only a Ceremonial 
would comprehend. The main things are given ; and, wher- 
ever we have thought it necessary for the reader's interest, 
we have descended to many minute particulars, for nothing 
is unimportant that directly concerns the Mass. We make 
this apology in order not to be misunderstood. 


The sacred vessels employed at the altar in the service of 
the Blessed Sacrament are five in number — viz., Chalice, 
Paten, Ciborium, Monstrance, and Lunette. 


The Chalice is the large Eucharistic cup in which the 
wine for consecration is placed. Regarding its shape, no 
precise rules are laid down, but custom would have it some- 
what resemble the open calyx of a lily. In ancient times it 
was formed so as to resemble an apple, and this with a view 
to remind us that it is through the merits of Christ's Pre- 
cious Blood, which the Chalice contains, that the sin o* 
Adam, in eating the forbidden fruit, was atoned for. 

Many liturgical writers tell us that the Chalice which our 
Divine Lord used at the Last Supper was made after the 
manner of the Roman cantharus, or mug — that is, with a 
handle on each side by which to lift it ; and that its capa- 
city was a sextary, or about a pint and a half (Bona, Rer. 
Liturg., 290 ; see also the Revelations of Anne Catherine 
Emmerich). According to the testimony of Bede, quoted 
by Baronius (Anno 34, No. 63), this Chalice was made of 
silver, and was preserved for a long time at Jerusalem, where 
the people used to offer it much veneration. All this, how- 
ever, or at least the main part of it, is contradicted by the 
gravest liturgical writers, and verv justly ; for it is now 

70 Sacred Vessels. 

pretty well known that the Bede who fabricated the story 
was not the Anglican Bede called the Venerable, but a cer- 
tain person of the name of Adamnamus Scotus, whose re- 
putation for telling the truth did not stand very high (Koz- 
ma, Liturg. Sacr. Gathol., p. 82, note). 

The great majority are in favor of saying that the Chalice 
our Lord used was made of agate, and that by some means 
or other it came into the possession of the people of Valen- 
tia, who now preserve ii; with jealous care (Gavantus, The- 
saur. Sacr. Bit., p. 124). 

Material of which the Chalice is made. — According to the 
present discipline of the Church, it is required that the 
Chalice be made of gold or silver, or at least that the cup be 
such. The privilege of using a Chalice of pewter is, how- 
ever, sometimes granted to very poor churches, but always 
on condition that at least the inside of the cup be gilt. 
The stem or leg of the Chalice may be of any solid material 
whatever, provided it be decent and not easily broken. 
Chalices of brass, glass, or wood are wholly forbidden — of 
brass, on account of its liability to rust ; of glass, on account 
of its brittleness ; and of wood, on account of its great po- 
rosity. There is no doubt, however, but that in the very 
early days of Christianity, especially during the times of per- 
secution, Chalices were often made of other materials be- 
sides gold and silver. In the Catacombs 1 many Chalices of 
glass have been found (Roman Catacombs, passim, by North- 
cote), and the most reliable testimony is given that such 
were often used in the celebration of Mass. Pope Gregory 
the Great, for instance, informs us that St. Donat, Bishop 
of Arezzo, used a Chalice of this material, and that when 

1 The term catacomb, from the Greek Kara, beneath, and <u/u./3o?, a hollow or crypt, 
Is applied to those subterranean vaults that are situated under the city of Rome, to 
which the Christians used to flee for shelter in the days of persecution, and where they 
buried their dead and celebrated Mass. 

The Chalice. 71 

the same was broken by the pagans the holy man had it 
miraculously restored to its original form through means 
of earnest prayer (lib. i. Dial. cap. vii.) 

St. Caesar, Bishop of Aries, in France, used a glass 
Chalice frequently. And St. Gregory of Tours tells us 
of one that he himself used, and how when it was broken 
by accident he had it restored through the intercession of 
St. Lawrence (Bona, 290). It must be observed, however, 
that the use of glass Chalices was never general in the 
Church, and that whenever they were used at all it was 
from pressing necessity. 

Chalices of Wood. — Sometimes, too, in difficult circum- 
stances, Chalices of wood were used. An amusing saying 
upon this head is recorded of St. Boniface. Havmg been 
asked in the Council of Triers what he thought of the prac- 
tice of saying Mass in wooden Chalices, he replied as fol- 
lows : " In ancient times golden priests said Mass in wooden 
Chalices, but now wooden priests say Mass in golden Chal- 
ices" (Bona, ibid.) The canons of King Edgar of Eng- 
land (tenth century) wholly interdicted Chalices of wood 

That Chalices of stone and marble were used at one 
time, at least on some pressing occasions, we see from the 
life of St. Theodore, Archimandrite, 2 commonly known 
as " Theodore of the Studium," from the great abbey of 
that name at Constantinople, where it is said that, when 
this holy man had enlarged his monastery, he changed his 
sacred vessels of marble for those of silver (Bona, ibid.; see 
also the saint's life). 

2 In the Oriental Church the term Archimandrite is applied to all those abbots who 
have jurisdiction over several monasteries. It is said to be derived from the Greek 
apxo?, a chief, and fidvSpa, a monastery. A head of a single monastery is styled 
Heavmenot but not exclusively, for the term is often applied to other ecclesiastics also. 
In the Latin Church the superior of the great monastery of Messina is styled Archi' 

72 Sacred Vessels. 

It was customary, too, in some churches to use Chalices 
of precious stones — of onyx, sardonyx, chrysolite, etc. — also 
of horn and ivory. Among the ornaments donated by Pope 
Victor III. (eleventh century) to the famous monastery of 
Monte Casino, two Chalices of onyx are enumerated {ibid. ) 
We find Chalices of horn prohibited as early as the eighth 
century in the Synod of Calcuith, in England {ibid.) In 
813 the Council of Hheims decreed that both the Chalice 
and Paten should be of gold, or at least of silver. In case 
of great poverty it allowed a Chalice of pewter. It strictly 
forbade, however, no matter what the necessity, to conse- 
crate in one made of wood or glass (Kozma, 83, note). 

Ornamentation of Chalices. — From the great respect that 
the Christians of early times manifested for anything con- 
cerning our Divine Lord much care used to be bestowed 
and much artistic skill displayed in the ornamentation of 
Chalices. The devices were, as a rule, taken from some in- 
cident connected with our Saviour's life upon earth, such as 
the raising of Lazarus from the dead ; changing the water 
into wine at Cana ; multiplying the loaves ; bringing back 
the "lost sheep "; healing the sick or consoling the afflicted. 

The bottom of a glass Chalice found in the Catacombs, 
and mentioned by Father Northcote in his work on the Bo- 
man Catacombs, represents four different scenes taken from 
Scripture : first, Tobias and the fish ; second, our Lord 
healing the paralytic ; third, the children in the fiery fur- 
nace ; fourth, the changing of water into wine at Cana. 
Another, taken from the same work, has enamelled figures of 
the Blessed Virgin and of the Apostles SS. Peter and Paul. 

Ministerial Chalices. — Whilst the discipline of communi- 
cating the laity under both species prevailed,* Chalices called 

' It prevailed up to the twelfth century, with few exceptions. It was wholly abro- 
gated by the Council of Constance in 1414, and this, among other reasons, to confound 
the teaching of John Huss and his party. 

goicu uy 1,11c vuuuuu ui V/UUBLaiiue m itl 

tbe teaching of John Huss and his party. 

The Chalice. 73 

Ministerial used to be employed for dispensing the Pre- 
cious Blood to the communicants. The deacon, as a rule, 
had charge of these, and it was upon him that the duty de- 
volved of communicating the people from them. The Chal- 
ice used by the priest was then known as the Offertorial 
Chalice, and was reserved for himself and the sacred min- 
isters who assisted him. As all the other Chalices obtained 
their supply from this, it used to be, in days gone by, of con- 
siderable proportions. It was customary, however, when 
the number of communicants was very great, to use large 
ministerial Chalices, and mingle with the Precious Blood 
they contained ordinary wine in small proportions, in order 
that the supply might not run short (Benedict XIV., De 
Sacrosanct. Misses Sacrif, p. 27 ; Bona, 291, 292 ; Kozma, 
83 ; Bellarmine, De Sacrif. Miasm, lib. iv. cap. xxiv.) 

Baptismal Chalices. — These were used solely for commu- 
nicating children after they had been baptized — a custom 
which once prevailed in the Church of the West, and is 
yet in vogue in the Eastern Church. 

Silver Tubes attached to Ancient Chalices. — The first 
Eoman Ordo, in laying down the rules that regard the dis- 
tribution of the Precious Blood, says that, after the Pope 
and his ministers had taken their portion from the Chalice 
employed at the altar, the remainder was to be poured 
into a large cup (scyphus) and dispensed to the people 
through a reed or tube (Church of Our Fathers, vol. i. 
164). In Masses celebrated by an ordinary priest the 
deacon used to pour unconsecrated wine first into the 
Chalice intended for the people before he poured the Pre- 
cious Blood, and then " confirm " all, as the saying went 
— that is, allow each to taste of the Blood thus mingled 
through a reed made of gold, silver, ivory, or glass, as the 
case might be (ibid, note 35). 

These reeds were in many cases, but not in all, fastened 

74 Sacred Vessels. 

on a pivot to the inside of the Chalice, and were so ad- 
justed that there was no difficulty whatever experienced 
in allowing the proper quantity of the Precious Blood to pass 
through. The material of which they were made was often 
of the most precious kind, and much labor used to be 
expended in their workmanship. St. Paul's, London, had 
ia 1295 two roeds of silver gilt ; and among the presents 
bestowed on the Cathedral of Exeter by its bishop, Leofric, 
was one " silfren pipe " (ibid. 168, note 39). As late as 
a.d. 1200 the Cathedral of Pavia had reeds of glass (ibid.) 

Up to a very recent date the silver tube was employed 
in the Monastery of Cluny, and at that of St. Denis in 
Paris, on Sundays and Holydays (ibid.) Kozma (p. 84) 
would lead us to infer — in fact, he asserts it — that this 
ancient custom is yet kept up in the Monastery of St. Dio- 
nysius, of the Congregation of St. Maur, near Paris, where, 
by a special indult of the Holy See, the deacon and sub- 
deacon, at Solemn High Mass, yet communicate under 
both kinds. With this exception the ancient practice is 
now seen nowhere else unless in Solemn Mass celebrated 
by the Pope, where his Holiness always receives the Chalice 
through one of the forementioned reeds. The deacon as- 
sisting him on such occasions receives the Precious Blood 
through the reed also, but the subdeacon receives it from 
the Chalice itself (Kozma, 84, note 13). 

For purifying these reeds a long golden needle used to be 
employed after they had first been rinsed with wine and 
water. Dr. Eock, in his very valuable work, The Church of 
Our Fathers, vol. i. p. 167, exhibits one of these needles hav- 
ing a head of sapphire. The papal needle depicted in the 
same place has two chain ornaments at its head, in which 
the pontiff is expected to put his fingers when receiving the 
Precious Blood. 

Before we dismiss our subject we must not forget to 

The Chalice. 

mention that, no matter how numerous the do^Aihi^&YtJ 
were when the discipline of receiving under\j^h specjjfc^ 
prevailed, there was but one Chalice used at the\^tattjrtlj 
act of consecrating. Pope Gregory II., a.d. 726, 'having 
been asked by St. Boniface if it were lawful to employ any 
more than one, thus replied : "In the celebration of Mass 
that must be observed which Our Lord Jesus Christ ob- 
served with his disciples ; for he took the Chalice, saying, 
' This is the Chalice of the New Testament in my Blood ; 
this do as often as you shall receive.' Whence it is not 
fitting to place two or three Chalices on the altar at the 
celebration of Mass" {Church of Our Fathers, i. 165, 

Chalices of the Orientals. — The extraordinary respect 
shown by all the Orientals, schismatic as well as ortho- 
dox, for the sacred vessels concerned immediately with the 
Blessed Sacrament is worthy of all commendation. The 
Copts will allow nothing to enter into the composition of 
the Chalice but the most precious material ; and notwith- 
standing their almost universal poverty as a people, yet care 
is always taken to see that their Chalices are of the purest 
silver or gold (Renaudot, Liturg. Orient. Collect., comment, 
ad Liturg. Copt. 8. Basilii, vol. i. p. 175). 

Regarding the consecration of the Chalice the majority of 
the Orientals are not particular. But this is not through 
any carelessness whatever or disrespect on their part ; if 
anything, it is a mark of the lively faith they have in the 
real presence of our Divine Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, 
and of their belief in the virtue that accompanies this 
Sacred Presence everywhere. Their reasons for not paying 
more attention to the consecration of their Chalices is that 
to their minds the simple contact of the Precious Blood is 
sufficient of itself to consecrate them without any additional 
ceremony. In proof of this belief many examples of a 

76 Sacred Vessels. 

miraculous nature are cited. The Copts, for instance, have 
it on record in the patriarchal history of Alexandria that 
when one of their Chalices was stolen by the Mahometans 
and sold to an artisan, the latter observed blood flowing 
from it the moment he broke it. Another story is related 
in a history of the Nestorians, to the effect that a man who 
had been almost crushed to death by the falling of a wall 
was instantly restored to health and strength by drinking 
the water which was poured out of a Chalice. Many other 
miracles are cited, but those given we deem enough at 
present. Nor was the belief that the Chalice is consecrated 
by contact with the Precious Blood solely confined to the 
Orientals ; some very able theologians of the Latin Church, 
and Diana among others, held the same belief also (Renau- 
dot, ibid.; Merati, Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., 126). But the prac- 
tice of our Church has always been to consecrate in every 
case, irrespective of what theologians or others say upon 
the subject. 

It must be observed, however, that although many of the 
Orientals do not consecrate their Chalices, yet there is a 
form for so doing in all their rituals. According to the 
Coptic Ritual, the form runs as follows : "0 Lord Jesus 
Christ, God and man together, whose divinity and humanity 
are inseparable, who didst by thine own free-will pour out 
thy blood for the sake of thy creatures, stretch thy divine 
hand over this Chalice, sanctify and purify it, to the end 
that the same Precious Blood may be borne in it as a remedy 
and pardon for all who truly partake of it." The Chalice is 
then anointed within and without with holy chrism, whilst 
the following words are said : " Sanctity, purity, benedic- 
tion, and protection to all who drink of thy true and pre- 
cious blood. Amen." According to the Greek Ritual, given 
by Goar (Euchology, p. 853), the ceremony of consecration 
is almost the same. 

Paten, Ciborium, Monstrance, 77 


The Paten is that small silver or gold dish, something 
like a saucer, which covers the mouth of the Chalice, and 
upon which the large bread for consecration is placed up to 
the Offertory. It is required to be of the same material as 
the Chalice, and to be perfectly plain on its concave surface 
(Bouvry, ii. 239). 

In ancient times the Paten was much larger than now, for 
it was made to hold all the bread that was to be consecrated 
at Mass. Hence we must not be surprised when we hear or 
read of Patens which weighed twenty-five and thirty pounds 
(Bona, Eer. Liturg., 292; Kozma, 84). 

Patens of the Orientals. — The Greeks call the Paten 
ayioS diffHOt, or holy tray. Theirs is much larger than 
ours, as must needs be to keep their large Particles from 
falling off, for their Hosts are not thin and flat like ours, 
but thick and square. 


"When the number of communicants is great it is custo- 
mary to administer the consecrated Particles to them from 
a sacred vessel shaped somewhat like the Chalice, but much 
more shallow and wide in the cup, called a Ciborium, from 
the Latin cibus, food. In ancient times the Ciborium 
meant the canopy of the altar, from which a contrivance 
shaped like a dove, and generally fashioned of gold or silver, 
used to hang for the purpose of reserving the Blessed 
Sacrament (Kozma, p. 87). Whilst the Ciborium contains 
the Holy Eucharist it is always kept under lock and key in 
the tabernacle, unless when it is necessary to give Holy 
Communion or to purify it. 


The Monstrance, called also the Ostensorium and Port- 

78 Sacred Vessels, 

able Tabernacle, and sometimes, but less properly, tha 
Remonstrance, is that large appurtenance in which the 
Blessed Sacrament is exposed at Benediction, and borne in 
solemn procession outside the church on certain occasions. 
It has a large stem something like that of the Chalice, and 
its upper part is so formed as to resemble the rays issuing 
from the radiant sun. In its centre there is a circular aper- 
ture in which the Lunette, with the Blessed Sacrament 
enclosed, is placed during exposition. 

Monstrances date their origin from the institution of the 
Feast of Corpus Christi, 4 which was first set on foot by 
Robert, Bishop of Liege, in the year 1246, at the instiga- 
tion of a holy nun named Juliana, who frequently saw in a 
vision a luminous moon with one dark line on its surface. 
The moon, she was given to understand by special revela- 
tion, was the Church ; and the dark line denoted the ab- 
sence of a certain feast from those annually celebrated, and 
which she was afterwards given to understand meant one 
specially directed towards the Blessed Sacrament. This led 
to the institution of Corpus Christi, which Pope Urban 
IV., in 1264, extended to the universal Church. Other rea- 

4 In order to invest this glorious Feast with as much solemnity -nd grandeur as pos- 
sible, Pope Urban caused a Mass and Office to be specially composed for it, which he 
entrusted to two of the most illustrious and eminent scholars of the day— St. Bonaven- 
ture and St. Thomas Aquinas. Both set to work with the most ardent zeal, but when 
the great Franciscan saint went to compare his work with what the " Angelic Doctor 1 ' 
had done, he was so dissatisfied with his own efforts that he threw his manuscript into 
the fire and abandoned the task ; and hence the whole work devolved upon, and was 
finished by, St. Thomas (Life of St. T/iomas , by Most Rev. Dr. Vaughan, p. 880). This 
Saint wrote out and arranged the Mass as it stands to-day for this feast. He composed 
as a Sequence for it the inimitable " Lauda Sion " ; and for Divine Office, among other 
hymns, the " Pange, lingua," of which the " Tantnm ergo " forms a part. 

Besides the office framed by St. Thomas, there was another in use for some time, 
said to be composed by an ecclesiastic named John, of Mount Cornelio. It is the 
opinion of several writers that when this Office was suppressed on account of some 
things in it that did not wholly square with the disposition of the Roman Breviary— for 
it was framed according to the Gallic Rite— St Thomas utilized much of it in the 
Office he himself composed (Romsee, iii. p. 183 ; Gavantus, Tlwaur. Sacr. Bit., 458). 

Who may touch the Sacred Vessels. 79 

sons, too, are given for the institution of this feast, such as 
an apparition that a certain priest of little faith had after 
the Consecration, when our Divine Lord appeared to him 
on the Corporal in form of a beautiful infant. Another 
legend says that the priest through some accident upset 
part of the Precious Blood on the Corporal, and that an 
image of a Host was seen wherever it fell (see Gavaiitus, 
TJiesaur. Bit., p. 458 ; Kozma, 88 and 388 ; and Romsee, 
iii. p. 183). 

For some time after the institution of Corpus Christi 
the Monstrance took the shape of those little towers in 
which the Blessed Sacrament used to be kept in ancient 

In some of the churches of the Cistercian Order in 
France, instead of a regular Monstrance such as we use, 
there is employed a small statue of the Blessed Virgin, so 
constructed that the Sacred Host may be placed in its hand 
during the time of exposition (Kozma, 89, note 6). 

The present shape of the Monstrance, imitating the ra- 
diant sun, forcibly recalls to mind the divine splendor of 
our Lord's countenance on the occasion of his Transfigura- 
tion on Thabor, and that saying of the royal Psalmist : 
" He has placed his tabernacle in the sun " (Ps. xviii. 6 ; 

The material of the Monstrance is generally the same as 
that of the other sacred vessels mentioned. When borne in 
solemn procession, a large canopy, called a Baldachinum, is 
carried over it. 


So very particular is the Church regarding the respect 
that should be paid to the sacred vessels immediately con- 
cerned with the Holy Eucharist, that she forbids them, 
under pain of sin, to be touched by any one but a cleric. 

80 Sacred Vessels. 

Nay, even clerics, unless they have reached the rank of sub- 
deacon, are not allowed to touch them without special per- 
mission. Should any one wilfully touch the Chalice whilst it 
contains the Precious Blood, and not be at least in deacon's 
orders, all theologians hold that he would by so doing com- 
mit a mortal sin. When permission is granted a lay person 
to touch the sacred vessels, he should always wear a glove 
or have his hand covered with a cloth or clean napkin 
(De Herdt, vol. i. No. 175). 


The Old Testament is full of examples that show how in- 
dignantly Almighty God takes the slightest disrespect shown 
to any of the sacred vessels used in his service. Look at the 
history of the Ark of the Covenant, and see what miracles 
were wrought in testimony of its sanctity. First, it is cap- 
tured by the Philistines, and insult is offered it by being 
brought into the temple of Dagon ; but it has scarcely enter- 
ed when Dagon falls to the ground (1 Kings v.), and for the 
indignity offered it, the whole city of Azotus is severely 
punished. The Gethites carry the Ark about from one 
place to another, and wherever it entered the mortality was 
so fearful that, as the Scripture says, " The fear of death 
was in every city" (ibid.) Then, again, look at the sorrow- 
ful example made of the Bethsamites. For looking with 
curiosity into the Ark as many as fifty thousand of them 
were slain (ibid. cap. vi. ) But the most appalling example 
of all is that recorded of Heliodorus in the second book of 
Machabees, chap. iii. This infamous man, to gratify the 
wishes of Seleucus, son of Antiochus the Great, set out for 
Jerusalem in order to plunder the Temple of its valuable 
treasures. Onias, a very saintly man, was High-Priest at the 

Appalling Punishments of Profaners. 81 

time. All that could possibly be done by prayer and earnest 
entreaty was done on that occasion to hinder Heliodorus 
from persisting in his wicked design, but to no purpose. 
He entered the Temple, and was about to lay hands upon 
the sacred treasures, when lo ! the judgment of God fell 
upon him. " There appeared," says the sacred text, " a 
horse with a terrible rider upon him, adorned with a very 
rich covering : and he ran fiercely and struck Heliodorus 
with his fore-feet, and he that sat upon him seemed to 
have armor of gold. Moreover, there appeared two other 
young men beautiful and strong, bright and glorious, and 
in comely apparel : who stood by him, on either side, and 
scourged him without ceasing with many stripes. And He- 
liodorus suddenly fell to the ground. " These are but a few 
of the many others that are found here and there in the Old 
Testament, where we see the malediction of God visiting the 
profaners of His sacred temple. Those furnished by histo- 
rians and annalists of the Christian Church are m nowise 
less astounding. 

It is well known, for instance, how, when the Donatists 
broke down the altars of the early Christian churches and 
cast the Blessed Eucharist to the dogs, the latter turned 
upon the wicked wretches themselves and tore them to 
pieces. St. Gregory of Tours tells us of an English noble- 
man who entirely lost the use of his feet on account of hav- 
ing dared to wash them in a Paten which he had brought 
from a neighboring church (Kozma, 85, note 17). But 
what Theodoret relates in his third book, chap, xii., of the 
soldiers of Julian the Apostate is the most appalling that 
could be recorded. There was at that time a very beautiful 
church at Antioch, called the " Golden " from its wonderful 
magnificence. Its valuable treasures were immense, and all 
the donation of Constantine the Great. Julian sent two of 
his men to plunder this church and bring the spoils to him* 

82 Sacred Vessels. 

self. They obeyed his commands ; but mark the result. 
Not content with desecrating the sacred house itself, one of 
them ascended the main altar and defiled it in a most shame- 
ful manner, while the other kept crying out in blasphemous 
derision : " Behold what fine vessels they use in the worship 
of the Son of Mary I" Divine vengeance in an instant over- 
took both of them. The first was seized with an ulcer 
which turned his inside to putrefaction, so that he died 
vomiting his bowels through his blasphemous mouth. The 
other was taken with a violent hemorrhage, which continued 
without interruption until all the blood in his body had been 
drained off ; then he expired amidst the most excruciating 
pains. This dire occurrence is also related by Protestant his- 
torians. Another singular visitation of G-od is related by Vic- 
tor Uticensis in his work on the Vandal persecutions (lib. i. 
p. 593). This historian tells us that a man named Proclus, 
agent of one of the Vandal kings, once entered a Christian 
church, and, having stripped the altar of its sacred coverings, 
converted them to his own private uses. He made him- 
self shirts of some of the coverings and drawers of others ; 
but the very instant he put them on he was seized with so 
frightful an attack of mental delirium that he died biting 
his tongue off. 

These examples are sufficient to show how inviolable and 
sacred the smallest article of the sanctuary is held in th« 
eyes of Almighty God. 



The Corporal in its present form is a square piece of 
linen about the size of a handkerchief, folded in four parts, 
and having a small black cross worked near the middle 
of its anterior edge. It is spread out on the altar, at 
full length, at the beginning of Mass, and the Chalice is 
placed upon it. The name Corporal is given to it from the 
fact that our Divine Lord's Body under the Sacred Species 
rests upon it. It is of strict obligation that it be of linen, 
and this principally to commemorate the " linen garments " 
in which our Lord's Body was shrouded in the sepulchre. 
So particular is the Church about this sacred cloth that she 
will allow none to touch it but those who have the privilege 
of touching the Chalice ; and when it needs washing the 
duty devolves upon a subdeacon or one in major orders. It 
must be washed with great care in three separate waters, 
and should, if possible, be made up without starch. This 
Litter precaution is necessary on account of the danger of 
mistaking a particle of the starch, which may often adhere 
to it, for a Consecrated Particle. When the Corporal is not 
in use it is kept folded up in the Burse. 

We have said that the Corporal must be made of linen. 
Pope Silvester L, a.d. 314, strictly forbade it to be made of 
silk or of any tinctured cloth ; and a council held at Rheims 
repeated this prohibition, adding that it must be of the 

84 Chalice Linens. 

purest and neatest linen, and be mixed with nothing else, no 
matter how precious (Kozma, 85). According to Durandus 
(Rationale Divinorum, p. 217), the original injunction re- 
quiring the Corporal to be of linen was promulgated by 
Pope Sixtus I., a.d. 132. The same author gives a very 
beautiful but rather far-fetched reason, as nearly all his rea- 
sons are, for having it of this material. " As linen," says 
he, " attains to whiteness only after much labor and dressing, 
so the flesh of Christ by much suffering attained to the glory 
of the Resurrection " (ibid.) 

In ancient times the Corporal was large enough to cover 
the entire table of the altar, and the duty of spreading it 
out, which was not done until coming on the Offertory, was 
the peculiar office of the deacon, who also folded it up after 
the Communion (Kozma, 86). To-day it is only at Low Mass 
that the Corporal is spread out on the altar, from the begin- 
ning ; at Solemn High Mass the ancient discipline of spread- 
ing it out at the approach of the Offertory is still in vogue. 

Corporal of the Orientals. — The Greeks call the Corporal 
eiXr/rov, eileton — that is, something rolled up, referring to 
the wrapping up of our Lord's Body in the linen shroud 
procured by Joseph of Arimathea (Goar, Euchol. Graic, p. 
130). The Corporals used by the Orientals scarcely differ in 
anything from those used in the Greek Church. 


The Purificator, called also the Mundatory, is a piece of 
linen about twenty inches long, and in width, when folded 
in three, about four inches. It has a small cross in the 
centre, and when not in use it is kept wrapped up by the 
priest in the Amice. 

That the Purificator is of modern introduction, we are jus- 
tified in asserting from the fact that it is mentioned by none 
of the ancient liturgists. All that we learn concerning it is 

Pally Veil 85 

that formerly the custom prevailed with the monks of cer- 
tain monasteries of appending a piece of linen to the Epistle 
side of the altar by which the Chalice used to be wiped after 
Communion (Bona, Rer. Liturg., p. 297 ; Kosma, p. 86). 
When the Purificator became one of the Chalice linens, is 
not easy to determine ; certain it is that no mention is made 
of it by any writer prior to the thirteenth century. Pope 
Innocent III., who died in 1216, makes no allusion to it, 
although he wrote a very exhaustive work on the Mass 
and its ceremonies ; neither does Durandus speak of it, 
although he describes the other linens minutely. 

Instead of a Purificator like ours, the Greeks use a sponge, 
and this with reference to the sponge employed at our Lord's 
Crucifixion (Goar, Euchol., p. 151). The Greeks rarely use 
anything in their service which has not a reference of some 
kind to our Saviour's life upon earth. 


The Pall is a stiff piece of linen about five inches square, 
having a cross worked in its centre. It is employed for 
covering the mouth of the Chalice to prevent dust or flies 
from falling in, and when not in actual use it is kept with 
the Corporal shut up in the Burse. 

For the first eleven or twelve centuries, the Corporal was 
so large that it served to cover the Chalice instead of the 
Pall now in use. To this end its hinder part was so arranged 
that immediately after the Offertory it could be drawn over 
the Host and chalice together. The Carthusians observe 
this discipline yet (Bona, 207). 


The Veil which covers the Chalice is generally of the 
same material as the Chasuble ; but if that of the latter 
be very stiff it is recommended to have the Veil made of 

86 Chalice Linens. 

silk, on account of its pliancy, but in color it must always 
agree with the regular vestments. 


The Burse, in which the Corporal and Fall are placed 
out of Mass, ought to be of the same rfiaterial and color 
as the rest of the vestments, and a v;ross should be worked 
in its centre. 




We have said that in ancient times the Blessed Sacrament 
used to be kept in a golden dove suspended from the canopy 
of the altar. This was the way in which it was generally 
kept, and it was on this account that many of the ancient 
fathers used to designate the church by the appellation of 
" Domus Columbae " — that is, the House of the Dove (Sel- 
vaggio, b. i. p. 1). Eeference, of course, to the Holy Ghost, 
who is so often represented by a dove, is the ultimate intent 
of the expression. 

The Church of Verona used to keep the Blessed Sacra- 
ment in an ivory vessel of costly workmanship (Martene, 
De Antiquis Ecclesm Ritibus), and this was the cus- 
tom also with many British churches. Sometimes it was 
kept in a small tower, and sometimes in a neat little basket 
of delicate wicker-work, in allusion to the baskets that were 
used at the miraculous multiplication of the loaves by our 
Divine Lord. This latter way of keeping it was in vogue at 
Rome in the time of Pope Gregory XL, a.d. 1370 (ibid.) 

In many of the Anglo-Saxon churches, whilst the custom 
prevailed of keeping the Blessed Sacrament in the golden 
dove, a sort of aureola, formed of very brilliant lights, 
used to surround it. In all cases a light burned before it 
day and night (Dr. Eock, Church of Our Fathers, vol. i. 


88 The Manner of Reserving the Blessed Sacrament. 


The Catholic reader need hardly be told that the Blessed 
Sacrament is now reserved in a ciborium placed in the 
Tabernacle and covered with a silken veil. Here it is to be 
had whenever it is needed, whether to communicate the 
people during Mass or go on its errand as the Holy Viati- 
cum to the dying. A little lamp filled with pure olive-oil 
burns before it constantly, and a bell is rung whenever it is 
to be taken away outside of Mass. In order that there may 
be no danger of the Sacred Particles becoming stale or 
unpleasant to the taste, it is customary to renew them every 
eight or ten days. Then the old Particles are either dis- 
tributed at the rails to the communicants or consumed by 
the priest at the altar whilst he yet remains fasting. 


The Greek Church reserves the Holy Eucharist in a little 
satchel placed near the main altar, in what is termed the 
Artophorion, and keeps a light constantly burning before it 
(Goar, Euchol. Grcec, 15). When conveying it to the sick 
as the Holy Viaticum, the priest must always be preceded 
by two deacons with torches in their hands, who keep up a 
continual recital of psalms the whole way. In some places 
the law of the land requires all to kneel down on such occa- 
sions until the Blessed Sacrament has passed, and this 
whether the parties who come in the way be Turks, Jews, 
or heathens (Martene, De Antiq. Bed Bit., q. 2). 

The Abyssinians reserve the Blessed Sacrament in what 
they call the Tabout, or ark, for a tradition of long stand- 
ing among them says that the real " Ark of the Covenant " 
is yet preserved in their land ; and hence their desire to 
perpetuate the fact by applying the name to the tabernacle 
in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept. The prayer for 

The Pyx. 89 

the consecration of this ark is thus given in the Ethiopic 
Canon : '.* Lord our God, who didst command Moses thy 
servant and prophet, saying, « Make me precious vessels, 
and put them in the tabernacle on Mount Sinai/ now, 
Lord God Almighty, stretch forth thy hand upon this ark, 
and fill it with the virtue, power, and grace of thy Holy 
Ghost, that in it may be consecrated the Body and Blood of 
thine only-begotten Son, our Lord " (Neale, Holy Eastern 
Church, i. 186 ; Eenaudot, Liturg. Orient., i. p. 474). 

The Copts never reserve the Blessed Eucharist out- 
side of Mass ; and they defend their strange discipline by 
saying that it was forbidden the chosen people of old to 
reserve any portion of the paschal lamb from one day to 
another, but that all of it had to be consumed at one meal. 
So that if a Coptic priest should be summoned any time of 
the day or night to the bed of a dying person, in order to 
procure the Holy Viaticum, he will say Mass, whether fast- 
ing or not, without the slightest scruple (Denzinger, Ritus 
Orientalium, p. 86). There are two other reasons, how- 
ever, besides the one mentioned, for this strange discipline. 
The first is that, inasmuch as the Copts are wholly under 
dominion of the Mahometans, they are apprehensive that 
the latter might break into their churches at any time and 
offer insult to the Blessed Sacrament. The second reason 
why they do not reserve it, is owing to a strange fear they 
have that it might be devoured by some of thoire treacherous 
serpents for which their land is remarkable. An accident 
of this kind happened once, and ever since the Coptic patri- 
archs have forbidden all reservation of the Blessed Sacra- 
ment outside of Mass (ibid.) 


The Pyx is a small box, generally of gold or silver, in 
which the Blessed Sacrament is carried to the sick. In 

90 The Manner of Reserving the Blessed Sacrament. 

shape it exactly resembles the case of a watch, and seldom 
or never exceeds the latter in size. When carried on the 
person of the priest it is enclosed in a silken purse, to which 
a string is attached for fastening it around the neck. In 
Catholic countries, instead of the Pyx, the ciborium is car- 
ried in procession, and a ringing of bells is kept up all the 
time as a warning to the people that our Lord is passing by 
on his mission to the sick. 

Out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament the priest is re- 
quired to walk with a slow, dignified pace on these occa- 
sions, and this must characterize his movements whether he 
go on foot or horseback. Some of the very best authorities 
maintain that a priest should not run or make any undue 
haste on such occasions, even though he were quite cer- 
tain that by not doing so the sick person would be dead 
before he had reached him (De Herdt, Sacr. Liturg., iii 

A solemn silence is also enjoined ; and no salutes or reve" 
rences must be paid to any one on the way. 

When the distance is short, walking is considered the 
most respectful way of travelling ; when long, a carriage 
or horse may be employed ; but care must be taken to move 
slowly in every case. 

Propriety also requires — in fact, the rubric directly pre- 
scribes it — that the Pyx be fastened round the neck and 
secured somewhere on the breast, but never enclosed in 
the pocket ; and all the time that the priest holds it on 
his person, while a Particle is in it, he must not sit down 
unless in case of real necessity. 

Oriental Usage. — Unless the person be very dangerously 
ill the Oriental priests will not carry the Blessed Sacrament 
outside of church, but will require the sick person to be 
conveyed thither and communicated there. When commu- 
nicated out of church it is always, at least with the major- 

The Pyx. 91 

ity of the Orientals, the rule to administer only under one 
kind— viz., that of bread (Denzinger, 93 et passim). 

The demonstrations made in the East before the Blessed 
Sacrament, when going to the sick, are very great. A 
solemn recitation of psalms and pious hymns is kept up all 
the time, and deacons and acolytes head the procession with 
torches and incense. No one of the party must ever dare 
to sit down ; and the most solemn decorum must be ob- 
served by all until the journey has been completed. 

With the Syrian Jacobites it is strictly forbidden to put 
the Blessed Sacrament in one's pocket when conveying it 
to the sick. It must be carried in a purse fastened around 
the neck; and should the journey be made on horse- 
back, on no account must this purse be fastened to the 
saddle, or conveyed in any other way but on the person of 
the priest (ibid. 92). That this is also the rule observed by 
the Copts we see from Renaudot ( Commentarius ad Liturg. 
Copt, 270.) 


Of the use of Incense in divine service so much is said 
in the Old Testament that it is not necessary to say much 
about it here. Suffice it to say that its use in the Latin 
Church is principally confined to Solemn High Mass and 
Vespers, to expositions of the Blessed Sacrament, and to 
the obsequies of the dead. In the Eastern Church, espe- 
cially with the Maronites, it is used on almost every occa- 
sion, whether the Mass be High or Low, as we shall see 
further on. 

Its spiritual meaning is as follows : First, by its burning 
we are reminded how our hearts should burn with the fire 
of divine charity. Secondly, it represents the good odor of 
Christ our Lord, in accordance with that saying in the Can- 
ticle of Canticles, " We run in the odor of thy ointments." 
Therefore, as Incense spreads its* odor through the entire 
church and refreshes our bodies by its agreeable scent, so 
also does our Lord spread his graces to refresh and nourish 
our souls. Thirdly, Incense has, both in the Old and New 
Law, been ever looked upon as symbolic of the virtue of 
prayer, agreeably to that saying of the royal Psalmist, " Let 
my prayer, Lord, be directed as incense in thy sight" 
(Ps. cxl.); and that of St. John in the Apocalypse, chap, 
viii. : " Another angel came, and stood before the altar, hav- 
ing a golden censer; and there was given him much in- 
cense, that he should oifer of the prayers of all the saints" 


The Thurible. 93 

(Bonvry, ii. 21; Bona, Rer. Liturg., 295; Durandus, Rationale 
Divinorum, 165). 

When Incense is offered to a person it is always indicative 
of the highest respect. Thus, the Magi offered it to our 
Lord at his birth on Christmas morning. Our bodies, too, 
when placed in the grave, are incensed, for the principal 
reason that on account of the participation of the sacra- 
ments during life they became the temples of the Holy 
Ghost (Bouvry, ii. 594). 


The vessel in which the Incense is burned is called the 
Thurible, a word of Greek origin, meaning the same as our 
word censer, by which it is more generally designated. 
Accompanying the Thurible is a little vessel, shaped like a 
fcoat, in which the Incense is kept, and from which it is 
taken by a small spoon. 

In ancient times the material of the Thurible was some- 
times very precious. Constantine the Great, as we read in 
Anastasius (Vita 8. Silvestri, i. 31), presented, among other 
things, to the basilica of St. John Lateran at Rome a 
number of Thuribles of the purest gold, set with a profusion 
of gems and precious stones. 

In the ancient Anglo-Saxon Church particular attention 
was paid to the material as well as to the form of the Thu- 
rible. Nor was the use of Incense wholly confined to the 
sanctuary, for we have it recorded that in many churches 
large Thuribles used to hang down from the roof; or, as 
was often the case, from a specially-constructed framework 
supported by columns. On the greater festivals Incense 
was placed in these and allowed to burn throughout the 
entire service (Dr. Rock, Church of Our Fathers, i. 206). 
That these hanging Thuribles were also in vogue at Rome 
we read in the life of Pope Sergius, A.D. 690. Around the 

94 Incense, 

altar, too, it was customary in many places to haye curiously- 
wrought vessels for the same purpose. Some of them used 
to be made so as to resemble various kinds of birds. In 
these an aperture with a lid to it was formed in the back, 
so that when fire was put in and Incense cast upon it the 
fumes would issue through the bird's beak. Conrade, a 
writer of the twelfth century, describes the hollow-formed 
silver cranes that he saw in the church of Mentz, and how 
the Incense issued from them when fire was applied (ibid, 
p. 208, note). 


In the Oriental churches a free use of Incense is kept 
up all through divine service ; and this is not confined to 
Mass alone — it forms part of nearly every exercise of devo- 
tion (Eenaudot, Liturg. Orient., i. p. 183). 

The Copts use it before pictures ' of the Blessed Virgin 
(ibid.) ; so also do the Greeks and Russians, both of whom 
are particularly careful to keep a lamp burning besides, 
upon which they throw grains now and then through the 
day (Dr. Rock, Church of Our Fathers, i. p. 209, note ; 
Burder, Religious Ceremonies and Customs, pp. 150, 151 ; 
Rites and Customs of the Greco-Russian Church, passim,' 
by Romanoff). 

> Throughout the East generally, instead of statues of saints, pictures are used, for 
the Orientals maintain that the clause of Deuteronomy in which «< graven things » ar. 
forbidden should be literally observed even now. 



As it would not be exactly in the line of this book to en- 
ter into a full history of Ecclesiastical Music, we think we 
shall have done our part when we have given the reader a 
brief account of the place that it holds to-day in the service 
of the Church. 

And first let us remark that it is only in High Mass that 
music forms part of divine service. For Low Mass it is not 

For the preservation and cultivation of ecclesiastical mu- 
sic, or Chant, as it is generally called, in the Latin or 
Western Church, we are principally indebted to the zealous 
labors of St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan (fourth cen- 
tury), and to the illustrious pontiffs, Gelasius and Gregory 
the Great. Most of the hymns of the Divine Office, or Bre- 
viary, are the work of the first named ; and these, at least 
in great part, he was led to compose, as he says himself, in 
order to counteract the evil tendencies produced in the 
minds of the faithful by the circulation and recital of the 
Arian hymns which, during his day, had been gaining 
such vantage-ground all through Christendom. Of the 
Ambrosian Chant, strictly so-called, the only specimen we 
have in the Mass of to-day is that found in the celebrated 
composition sung at the blessing of the Paschal Candle on 
Holy Saturday, and called, from the word with which it 


96 Sacred Music and Musical Instruments. 

begins, the " Exultet." It is almost universally admitted 
that the composition of this is the work of St. Augustine, 
but that the chant itself is Ambrosian. 

As St. Ambrose lived a considerable time in the East, 
where Church music had already been zealously cultivated, 
it is generally believed that it was in that region that he 
received his first impressions of its singular beauty, and 
that thence he introduced it into his own church at Milan, 
after much study had been expended in reducing it to a 
system suitable to Western ears. Whether the chant thus 
introduced was built upon the "eight modes" 1 of Greek 
music or not, we are unable to say with certainty ; very 
likely it was. Certain it is, however, that his system was 
rather intricate, and in many instances far above the com- 
pass of ordinary voices ; for which reason it was deemed ad- 
visable to give it a new touching, and so suit it to the capa- 
city of all, that all might comply with the wishes of the 
Church in singing the praises of God together. The task 
of doing this good work was undertaken by Pope Gregory 
the Great, who also established a regular school at Rome to 
see that his modified system was duly observed and prac- 
tised everywhere. And this is the origin of the so-called 
Gregorian Chant. It is called plain from its great sim- 
plicity, and "canto firmo" by the Italians, from the singu- 
Jar majesty that pervades it throughout. 

As to the precise merits of the Ambrosian Chant we know 
but little now ; whether that in use at Milan to-day be the 
same as that used in the fourth century we leave others to 
determine. Certain it is, however, that the ancient chant 
was full of majesty and divine sweetness ; this we have 

1 The eight modes or tones of the Greek music were : the Dorian, Hypodorian, 
Phrygian, Soft-Hypophrygian, Lydian, Hypolydian, Mixed-Lydian, Eyperiastian. 
Each of these was distinguished by peculiar characteristics, such as toft, tweet, mar' 
tial,furicnu, etc. 

Sacred Music. 97 

from the illustrious St. Augustine, whose big heart melted 
into tears of compunction whenever he listened to its so- 
lemn strains. " When I remember," says he in his Con- 
fessions, " the tears which I shed at the chants of thy 
Church in the first days of my recovered faith, and how I 
am still moved by them — not, indeed, by the song, but by 
the things which are sung, ... I acknowledge the 
great usefulness of this institution." 

The merits of the Gregorian Chant are known to all ; and 
who that has ever heard it rendered as it should be will not 
say that it has a divine influence over the soul ? If St. 
Augustine wept upon hearing the Ambrosian Chant, many 
more recent than he have wept, too, upon hearing the sim- 
ple but soul-stirring strains of the pure Gregorian. The 
Venerable Bede, for example, tells us how deeply affected St. 
Cuthbert used to be when chanting the Preface, so much 
so that his sobbing could be heard through the entire con- 
gregation ; and, as he raised his hands on high at the 
r Sursum corda," his singing was rather a sort of solemn 
moaning than anything else (Vita S. Cuthbert, cap. xvi.) 
The renowned Haydn was often moved to tears at listen- 
ing to the children of the London charity schools sing the 
psalms together in unison according to the Gregorian style ; 
and the great master of musicians and composers, Mozart, 
went so far as to say that he would rather be the author of 
the Preface and Pater Foster, according to the same style, 
than of anything he had ever written. These are but a few 
of the numerous encomiums passed upon this sacred chant 
by men who were so eminently qualified to constitute them- 
selves judges. 

The great distinguishing feature of the Gregorian Chant 
is the wonderful simplicity, combined with a sort of divine 
majesty, which pervades it throughout, and which no 
words can exactly describe. It must be heard to be appre- 

98 Sacred Music and Musical Instruments. 

dated. Then, again, another great feature that it possesses 
is the power of hiding itself behind the words, so as to render 
the latter perfectly audible to the congregation. In this way 
it is made a most solemn kind of prayer, so very different 
from the great bulk of modern compositions, whose entire 
drift seems to be to drown the words completely, or so muti- 
late them as to render them perfectly indistinct and unin- 

For many years Rome preserved this sacred chant in its 
original purity, and watched with jealous care to exclude 
from it everything that smacked of the world's music. But, 
careful as Rome was, innovations and corruptions set in ; so 
much so that, after a few years, hardly a trace of Gregorian 
music could be distinguished in what was once the pride of 
the Ohurch. As might naturally be expected, the corruption 
began in France. For the space of seventy years (from 
Pope Clement V., in 1309, to Pope Gregory XI.) the 
Roman pontiffs resided at Avignon, and, as was reason- 
able to expect, the papal choir was composed entirely 
of French performers. They treated the Gregorian Chant 
just as they pleased ; but little would that have mat- 
tered had it not been for the fact that Pope Gregory 
XI., upon his return to Rome, brought his French 
choir with him with all their fantastic vagaries. The 
impression made at Rome by the efforts of this musical 
body was of the most disedifying kind, for not a word 
could be heard or understood of all that they sang. So 
ridiculous was their singing that when Pope Nicholas 
V. asked Cardinal Capranica what he thought of it, 
his Eminence humorously replied : "Well, Holy Father, I 
compare it to a sackful of swine squeaking away; they 
make a tremendous noise, but not a word is articulated 

Church music went on in this way until about the time 

Sacred Music. 99 

of the Council of Trent, when it was determined to ame- 
liorate it or banish it entirely from the Church. A com- 
mittee of cardinals was formed by Pope Pius IV. for the 
purpose of seeing whether it was possible to compose a 
Mass the music of which would be harmonious and the 
words distinct a ad intelligible. St. Charles Borromeo and 
Cardinal Vitelozzi were among the number selected for 
the important task. There was at this time attached to 
the choral staff of St. Mary Major a man of great musi- 
cal renown and of singular originality. To him the com- 
mittee applied. He accepted their proposal and set earn- 
estly to work at writing a Mass to suit their taste. He 
composed two off-hand which were greatly admired, but the 
third was the climax of perfection. It was simple, har- 
monious, and very devotional. Every word of it was articu- 
lated distinctly. It was produced before the Pope and the 
College of Cardinals, and with one consentient voice all 
pronounced in favor of it. Thus the music of the Church 
was saved. The person who figured in this momentous 
juncture was the celebrated Palestrina, 5 ever since known as 
the great reformer of ecclesiastical chant. He is looked up 
to as the father of Church harmony ; and his great Mass, 
denominated " Missa Papas Marcelli " (from Pope Marcellus 
II., a.d. 1554, before whom it was sung), will ever be ven- 
erated as one of his greatest and happiest efforts. The 
Mass is performed on every Holy Saturday in the Papal 
Chapel. It was originally in eight parts, but was reduced 
by Palestrina himself to six. The other great reformers, or 
rather embellishers, of Church music were Allegri, author of 
the famous " Miserere " of the Sis tine Chapel ; Pergolesi, 

* His real name was Pierluigi (Giovanni Pierluigi), but he generally went by th« 
name of his native city, Palestrina, the ancient Prseneste, in Italy, where he was born 
in 1524. His death took place in 1584, and he was buried in St. Peter's. St. Philip 
Neri attended him in hU last niomenig, 

100 Sacred Music and Musical Instruments. 

author of the inimitable music of the " Stabat Mater" ; and 
Mozart, whose renown will ever be known the world over. 


That the Gregorian Chant was at its introduction per- 
formed without the aid of instruments everybody is willing 
to admit. Instruments are not in use to-day with the Cis- 
tercians or Carthusians, nor at the ancient church of Lyons, 
in France; and we see also that they have no place in the 
service of the Oriental Church, if we except the few sorry 
ones employed by the Abyssinians and Copts, of which 
Pococke speaks in his Travels m Egypt. From the papal 
choir, too, all instruments are excluded save a trumpet or 
two, which sound a delicate harmony at the Elevation. 
This choir, which is justly esteemed the most select in 
existence, always accompanies the Holy Father whenever he 
sings Solemn High Mass in any of the churches of Rome. 
Its members are strictly forbidden to sing anywhere else, 
and none but male voices are admitted among them. 

The Organ. — It is generally believed that the introduction 
of the organ into the service of the Church was the work of 
Pope Vitalian, or at least that it happened during his pon- 
tificate, from a.d. 657 to 672. The first which appeared in 
France was that which the Emperor Constantine Coprony- 
mus sent in the year 757 to King Pepin, father of Charle- 
magne. This was placed in the Church of St. Corneille, in 
Compiegne. At first organs were of very small compass, 
but not many years after their introduction they assumed 
larger proportions. This may fairly be gathered from an 
expression of St. Aldhelm, who in his poem, " De Laudibus 
Virginitatis," tells the admirer of music that if he de- 
spises the more humble sound of the harp he must listen 
to the thousand voices of the organ. The ancient cathedral 

Musical Instruments. 101 

of Winchester, in England, had a monster organ, which could 
be heard at an incredible distance. Its sound, we are told, 
resembled the roaring of thunder ; and so huge was it that 
it required seventy stalwart men to feed it with air. It 
had four hundred pipes, twenty-six feeders, and a double 
row of keys. So famous was it that it formed the themo 
of many of the poetic effusions of the day. Wolston, the 
monk, wrote much about it. 

Other Musical Instruments. — Besides the organ, the 
Anglo-Saxon Church employed a variety of other wind 
instruments, foremost among which was a sort of hoop 
sheathed in silver plates, having a number of bells hung 
around it. These were generally prescribed for processions 
out of church, but they were used also in the regular choir 

In closing our chapter on Church music we cannot resist 
calling the attention of the reader to the great care our 
forefathers took to see that nothing should ever be sung in 
divine service that was not of the purest and gravest nature. 
To carry this out the better, some of the greatest nobles of 
the land would now and then volunteer their services and 
take an humble part with the rest of the choir in leading 
the sacred chant on Sundays and festivals. What a glo- 
rious and edifying thing it was, for instance, to see 
Richard L, Cceur de Lion — the Lion-hearted King, as 
he was familiarly called — take part in the choir of his 
own chapel and sing from the beginning to the end of 
service ! Yes, that mighty warrior, who spread terror 
throughout the East by the formidable army he led to 
Palestine in defence of the Holy Land on the occasion of 
the Third Crusade, put himself on a level with his humblest 
subjects in singing the praises of God. " He would go up 
and down the choir," says Radulf, Abbot of Coggeshall, 
" and arouse all the members to sing out and sing together ; 

102 Sacred Music and Musical Instruments. 

and he would raise his hands aloft, and take the greatest 
delight in directing the music on the principal solemnities. " 
(For the principal matter of this chapter on Church Mu- 
sic and Musical Instruments we are indebted to the follow- 
ing works : Divina Psalmodia, by Cardinal Bona ; Antiqui- 
ties of the Anglo-Saxon Church, vol. ii., by Lingard; 
Church of Our Fathers, vol. iii. part 2, and Hierurgia, by 
Dr. Rock ; Holy Week in the Vatican, by Canon Pope ; and 
4m article in the Dublin Review for 1836, denominated 
u Ecclesiastical Music." The rest we have found in places 
which we cannot now recall to mind. We have been care- 
ful, however, to say nothing at random. ) 


As we sball have occasion to refer frequently in the course 
;f this work to several rites that do not accord in everything 
with that which is strictly termed Roman, we have thought 
it well to give the reader a general survey of them here, in 
order to make our remarks hereafter more intelligible and 
to save unnecessary repetition. 

The learned Cardinal Bona, in speaking of the different 
rites within the Church, compares them to the dress of the 
spouse in the Canticle of Canticles, which abounded with 
such a variety of colors. At one time there was hardly a 
locality which had not some peculiarity of its own in cele- 
brating the Holy Sacrifice. This, of course, was nothing 
touching the substance of the Sacrifice itself, nor, indeed, 
could it be considered a change in the general norma of the 
Mass. It was rather "prater Missam," as theologians would 
say, than "contra Missam." It was some embellishment or 
other in the ceremonies which was not prescribed in the 
ordinary rules laid down for the celebration of divine ser- 
vice. But as these peculiarities often gave rise to much dis- 
sension, and tended in some cases to the formation of na- 
tional churches, the Holy See thought well to direct imme- 
diate attention to them and stay their rapid progress. The 
matter was taken in hand by the Sacrosanct Council of 
Trent, under the auspices of Pope Pius V. His Holiness 
issued a decree to the effect that all those rites which had 


104 The Varying Rites within the Cliurch. 

not been approved of by Rome from time immemorial, or 
which could not prove an antiquity of two hundred years, 
should be abolished then and for ever. The result was that 
only three orders could prove an antiquity of two hundred 
years — viz., the Carthusians, Carmelites, and Dominicans— 
and only two of the other class could show that they had 
been approved of from time immemorial — viz., the Mozara* 
bics and Ambrosians or Milanese. All these were allowed 
to stand and retain their own peculiar ceremonies and litur* 
gical customs, but the rest were abolished at once. Some 
of the French primatial churches, such as that of Lyons, and 
one or two others throughout Germany and Naples, were 
permitted to retain some laudable customs of a minor na- 
ture ; but as these did not constitute what would be techni- 
cally called a rite, we shall give them but a passing notice. 


This religious body, so called from La Chartreuse, near 
Grenoble, in France, the wild valley in which their first monas- 
tery was built, was founded in the year 1084 by St. Bruno, a 
priest of Cologne. It is regarded as the strictest order in the 
Church, and is the only one which a member from one of 
the mendicant orders can join as being of a higher order of 
perfection than his own. It has as its device a cross sur- 
mounting a globe, with the inscription, " Stat crux dum 
volvitur orbis " — that is, " The cross stands as long as the 
earth moves." In England they are called the "Charter- 
House " Monks, a corruption of Chartreuse. Their habit is 
entirely white, but abroad they wear over it a black cowl, 
One strange and rare privilege enjoyed by the nuns of their 
order is that, at the solemn moment of making their vows, 
they put on a maniple and stole, and are allowed to sing the 
Epistle in Solemn High Mass (Eomsee, iv. 356, note). They 

Carthusians. 105 

use no musical instruments whatever in their service, but 
sing everything according to the pure Gregorian style. 

The peculiarities of their Mass are as follows : They put 
the wine and water in the chalice at the beginning, and say 
the introductory psalm and Confiteor, not at the centre, aa 
we do, but at the Gospel side, with face towards the altar. 
Their form of confession is much shorter than ours, and 
instead of saying the " Oramus te, Domine," when the} 
ascend the altar-steps, they say a Pater and Ave, and then 
sign themselves with the cross. They say the " Gloria in 
excelsis " at the Epistle corner, where the book is, and turn 
round in the same place to say the "Dominus vobiscum." 
They kiss the margin of the missal after the Gospel instead 
of the text itself, and only make a profound bow instead of 
a genuflection at the " Et homo f actus est " of the Creed. 
In fact, at no part of the entire Mass do they touch the 
ground with the knee when they make a reverence, as we do. 
They bless both water and wine by one single cross at the 
Offertory, and make the oblation of Host and chalice one 
joint act by placing the paten and the large bread on the 
mouth of the latter. Erom the beginning of the Canon to 
the "Hanc igitur " they stretch out their arms in such a 
manner as to exhibit the form of a cross, and at the Conse- 
cration they elevate the chalice only a few inches from the 
altar, never high enough to be seen by the people, just as we 
do at the " Omnis honor et gloria" before the " Pater nos- 
ter." After consecration they extend their hands again in 
form of a cross until the " Supplices te rogamus," when 
they bow and cross one upon the other. 

At the end of Mass they do not bless the people, as we do, 
nor say the Gospel of St. John, but come down and return 
to the sacristy the moment they have recited the " Placeat." 
A few of their other peculiarities will be noticed throughout 
this work. 

106 The Varying Rites within the Church. 


This order, so called from Carmel, in Palestine, where 
Elias, the holy prophet, dwelt in a cave, owes its origin prin- 
cipally to Berthold, a monk and priest of Calabria, who with 
a few companions erected in 1156 some huts on the heights 
of Mt. Carmel. The Carmelites themselves claim Elias as 
their founder. 

The peculiarities of their manner of saying Mass are these : 
They recite the psalm " Judica me, Deus," on their way to 
the altar, and not standing in front of it, as we do ; and, like 
the Carthusians, pour water and wine into the chalice be- 
fore the beginning of Mass. On the greater festivals of the 
year they repeat the "Introit" three separate times; on 
other occasions only twice, as with ourselves. The moment 
they uncover the chalice at the Offertory they make the 
sign of the cross over the bread and wine, in the name o! 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost ; then 
they make the oblation of both Host and chalice under one 
form of prayer — viz., ' i Suscipe Sancta Trinitas " — which we 
are accustomed to say after the oblation has been finished ; 
but their prayer has an addition to it that ours has not. 
They say before the " Secreta ": " Domine, exaudi orationem 
meam, et clamor meus ad te veniat." At the "Hanc igi- 
tur " they incline to the altar and remain in that posture 
until the " Quam oblationem." They extend their arms in 
the form of a cross from the time they begin the " Unde et 
memores " until they reach the part at which the crosses are 
to be made. After the last of the three prayers preceding 
Communion they say (in Latin, of course) : "Hail, Salva- 
tion of the world, Word of the Father, Sacred Host, Living 
Flesh, Deity Complete, True Man." In saying the "Do- 
mine, non sum dignus," they bow the knee a little and 
strike the breast as we do. After having blessed the people 

Dominicans. 107 

they recite the " Salve Regina," with its responses and 
prayer, for which, in Paschal time, they substitute the " Re- 
gina Coeli." After the Gospel of St. John they say, fl Per 
evangelica dicta," etc., as we do at the first Gospel, and then, 
covering their heads with their cowl, return to the sacristy 
reciting the "Te Deum." 


The Dominicans are so called from St. Dominic, a Spaniard 
by birth, who founded them in the year 1215. They are 
very generally known by the name of Friars Preachers from 
their peculiar mission. In England their general appella- 
tion is the Black Friars, on account of their wearing an 
overdress of a black color ; when at home their habit is 
entirely white. Throughout France their familiar designa- 
tion is Jacobites, from the fact that the principal house of 
their order in Paris was first known by the name of St. 
James, which in Latin is Jacobus. 

Like the Carmelites and Carthusians, the Dominicans put 
the water and wine into the chalice before they begin Mass. 
They do not say the " Judica me, Deus," but recite instead 
of it certain verses beginning with "Confitemini Domino 
quoniam bonus." They say the opening words of the " Glo- 
ria in excelsis " at the middle of the altar, but return to the 
book at the Epistle side to finish the rest of it. Here also 
they say the "Dominus vobiscum." They observe some- 
what similar ceremonies in reciting the Credo. First they 
say " Credo in unum Deum" at the middle ; then they return 
to the missal at the Gospel side, and continue reciting it 
there until the " Incarnatus est," when they go to the 
middle again, and there, spreading out the anterior part of 
the chasuble on the altar, kneel so as to touch the ground 
at the "Homo factus est." They extend the chasuble in 
like manner whenever the " Flecbamus genua" is to be said. 

108 The Varying Rites within the Church. 

After the " Homo f actus est " they return and finish the 
Credo at the book. They read the Offertorium at the Gos- 
pel side, after the manner of a collect, and make the obla- 
tion of the Host and chalice as the two fore-mentioned or- 
ders do. After the Gospel of St. John they make the sign 
of the cross upon themselves, and then go to the middle, 
where they fold up the corporal and put it in the burse, 
and afterwards return to the sacristy with the amice cov- 
ering their head as at the beginning of Mass. They recite 
the " Benedicite " after Mass, as we do. 


The ancient Spanish Liturgy introduced by St. Torquatus 
and his companions resembled the Koman in all essential 
points. When Spain was invaded by the Suevi, Alani, 
Vandals, and Visigoths (fifth century), all of whom were 
Arian, its Liturgy and the Arian Liturgy commingled, and 
ran hand-in-hand for many years ; and from the fact that 
a constant intercourse was kept up between the Spanish 
Church and that of Constantinople, the headquarters of the 
East in the beginning of the fifth century, several Greek 
customs, as well as those that were rank with Arianism, 
entered the Spanish Liturgy, so that it stood much in need 
of renovation. In the year 537 Profuturus, Archbishop of 
Galicia, wrote for advice in the matter to Pope Vigilius, 
then the Sovereign Pontiff. His Holiness sent him the 
Canon of the Mass according to the Roman norma, to- 
gether with a copy of the entire Mass of Easter, in order 
that he might shape his new Liturgy by them Towards 
the end of the sixth century the Visigoths were converted 
to the faith, and then the Liturgy of Spain assumed its 
most important appearance. In the fourth Council of 
Toledo, a.d. 633, the Spanish bishops, at whose head was 
St. Isidore of Seville, resolved to banish from the country 

Mozarabic Liturgy. 109 

every foreign rite, and have but one Liturgy throughout the 
land. From the fact that St. Isidore headed this work, he 
is generally looked upon as the author of the Liturgy of 
Spain. The Liturgy so formed, and called by the name of 
Gothic, was used in Spain without being in any way in- 
fluenced by the reform of Pope Gregory the Great. A new 
state of things set in towards the beginning of the eighth 
century, when the land fell into the hands of the Moors. 1 
Those who yielded to the Moorish yoke were called 
h Mostarabuna," an Arabic participle meaning " mixed 
with Arabs," 3 and this Liturgy was denominated accord- 
ingly Muzarabic or Mozarabic. During the dominion of 
the Moors, which lasted nearly eight hundred years, the 
Liturgy kept constantly changing and receiving new corrup- 
tions, so that at the Synod of San Juan de la Pena, held 
under the auspices of Pope Alexander II. (1601), Sancho 
Ramirez, King of Aragon, caused the Gregorian or Roman 
Rite to supersede the Gothic. The Council of Burgos in 
1085 issued a solemn proclamation to this effect. It was no 
easy matter, however, to effect the introduction of the Gre- 
gorian Rite entirely, for people cling with wonderful tenacity 
to ancient customs. Some were for it, others against it. 
To settle the matter, strangely enough, an appeal was made 
to the "judgment of God." A powerful fire was accord- 
ingly made, and a copy of each Liturgy cast into it ; which- 
ever came out unhurt was to be the Liturgy of the land. 
The Gregorian was thrown in first, but scarcely had it 

1 The Moore, or Mauri, were the people of Mauritania, or Morocco, in the north of 
Africa. They embraced Mahometanism in the seventh century at the instigation of 
their Arabian conquerors, and became so identified with the latter in everything that 
Arab and Moor were synonymous terms. They were finally driven from Spain by 
Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492. 

* The Arabs divide their people into three classes : first, those called "el Arab el 
Arabeh "— -i.e., pure Arabs ; second, "el Arab el Mota 1 arribeh," or those who speak 
and know the language ; and, third, " el Arab el Mosta 1 ribeh "—that is, mixed or natu- 
ralized Arabs. 

110 The Varying Rites within the Church. 

touched the flames when it rebounded and fell uninjured by 
the side of the fire. The Mozarabic was then cast in, and, 
singular to behold, it remained intact in the midst of the 
flames ! As both liturgies were miraculously preserved, it 
was decided that both were equally good, and that conse- 
quently each should hold a place in Spain. Predominance, 
however, was soon given to the Gregorian, so that it became 
the Liturgy of the whole land, with the sole exception of 
the city of Toledo, where the Mozarabic was employed in 
six churches — viz., St. Justa, St. Luke, St. Eulalia, St. 
Mark, St. Sebastian, and St. Torquatus ; but as time wore 
on the Mozarabic was even superseded in these, and solely 
confined to the cathedral chapel. Cardinal Ximenes, how- 
ever, by very earnest entreaties, whilst Archbishop of Toledo, 
caused it to be readopted in five of the churches mentioned, 
and instituted as its custodians what he termed " Sodales 
Mozarabes," a company of thirteen priests, to whom he 
assigned the Chapel of Corpus Christi. The rite is yet kept 
up in these places, but nowhere else (see Life of Cardinal 
Ximenes, by Hefele ; Bona, Rer. Liturg., p. 219 ; Kozma, 
157 ; and Gavantus, Thesaur. Rit., 23). We shall have 
occasion to refer to the peculiarities of the Mozarabic Rite 
throughout our work. 


The Ambrosian Eite, 8 so called from St. Ambrose, Bishop 
of Milan, a.d. 374, claims a very high antiquity. Accord- 
ing to the Milanese themselves, its main structure is the 
work of St. Barnabas, Apostle ; but as it received a fresh 

• Strictly speaking, neither the Mozarabic nor Ambrosian Rite can be called a 
liturgy. The latter name, taking it in its general acceptation, only applies when the 
language used and the ceremonies employed are different from those of Rome ; but as 
there is no difference in either case here mentioned in language, and but very little in 
ceremonies, the term rite is more proper than liturgy. 

Ainbrosian Liturgy. 11X 

touching-up at the hands of St. Ambrose, it is generally 
ascribed to him and called by his name. Many attempts 
have been made to abolish this rite altogether and substi- 
tute the Eoman in its stead, but all to no purpose. The 
Milanese cling to it with a dying man's grasp, and the Holy 
See, to choose the less of two evils, and make itself all 
to all where nothing trenches upon faith, permits them 
"to abound in their own sense." In the year 1497 Pope 
Alexander VI. solemnly confirmed its use, and ever since 
then it has been strictly adhered to at Milan ; not, however, 
in all the churches, for some even now follow the Roman 
Rite, but in a few belonging to the diocese (Kozma, 156). 
St. Charles Borromeo did much to uphold this rite during 
his time (1590). Some of the peculiarities of the rite are 
as follows : It allows the " Agnus Dei " only in Masses for 
the dead. The text of Scripture used is not that followed 
by the Roman Rite, but one of those versions in use before 
St. Jerome's Vulgate was published. On Easter Sunday 
two Masses are prescribed, one for the newly baptized, 
the other of the day itself. Throughout the whole of Lent 
there is no Mass on Friday of any kind (this was an or- 
dinance of St. Charles Borromeo). On Sundays and feasts 
of great solemnity a lesson from the Old Testament is read 
before the Epistle, together with some versicles, after the 
mariner of our Gradual. Immediately before consecration 
the priest saying Mass goes, according to this rite, to the 
Epistle corner of the altar and washes his hands in silence. 
The other peculiarities will be noticed as we go on (see 
Institutiones Liturgicce, vol. ii. p. 300, by Maringola; 
Cardinal Bona, 218 ; Gavantus, 22 ; Kozma, 156). 

We mention, in passing, that according to this rite the 
Sacrament of Baptism is administered by immersion, and 
not by infusion, as with all who follow the Roman Rite. 

112 The Varying Rites within the Church. 


We devote here but a passing notice to this rite, for the 
reason that it never made any headway, if we except a few 
ceremonial embellishments, after the time of Charlemagne 
—that is, after the ninth century. In one of the cities of 
France — viz., the ancient Lugdunum of the Romans, now 
Lyons— a few peculiar liturgic customs are yet kept up, 
such as reading the Gospel from the ambo, and singing 
without the aid of the organ or any musical instrument 
whatever. The Lyonese ascribe the introduction of their 
rite into Gaul to St. Irenaeus, Bishop of their city in the 
early part of the third century (see Recherches sur V Aboli- 
tion de la Liturgie Antique dans VEglise de Lyon, by M. 
De Conny ; Kozma, 157 ; Cardinal Bona, Divina Psal- 
modia, p. 559). 



According to the best authorities the word altar is 
formed from the Latin alius, high, and ara, a mound or 
elevation. It is the sacred table upon which the Holy Sac- 
rifice of the Mass is offered. 

According to rule it ought to be about three and a half 
feet high, three feet wide, and six and a half feet long ; and 
to denote the perfection of our Lord, whom it is made to 
represent in sacred symbolism, it should be solid through- 
out (Bouvry, ii. 223). Before Mass may be celebrated on 
it, it must first be consecrated by the bishop. 


According to the present discipline of the Church the 
Altar must be made of stone, or at least that part of it 
upon which the chalice and its appurtenances are placed. 
When not entirely of stone the rubrics require that an ap- 
pendage called an antipendium should hang always in 
front of it to cover its anterior surface. 

In ancient times, especially during the days of persecu- 
tion, altars were for the most part made of wood ; in fact, it 
would have been loss of time and useless to make them of 
any more durable material, for the reason that the pagans 
might have desecrated and destroyed them at any moment ; 
but after peace was restored to the Church the costliest 
materials sometimes entered into their composition. 


It is the general opinion of liturgical writers that our 


114 The Altar. 

Divine Lord instituted the Blessed Eucharist on an ordi- 
nary wooden table, such as the Jews in his day were wont 
to eat from. 

According to Martene (Be Antiquis Eccl. Ritibus) there 
are yet preserved at Rome two wooden altars, one in the 
Churck of St. John Lateran, the other in that of St. 
Pudentiana, upon which St. Peter used to say Mass during 
his Roman pontificate. The one in the latter-named church 
is now almost eaten up with age, but is preserved from utter 
destruction by being covered over with a stone casing. The 
following inscription appears upon it : " In hoc altari Sanc- 
tus Petrus pro vivis et defunctis ad augendam fidelium mul- 
titudinem, Corpus et Sanguinem Domini offerebat " — that 
is, " Upon this altar St. Peter used to offer the Body and 
Blood of our Lord, in behalf of the living and the dead, for 
increasing the number of the faithful." 

Pope Silvester (314) is said to have been the first who 
made stone altars obligatory ; but some count this as doubt- 
ful, both because the decree so ordaining cannot be found 
among those attributed to this Pope, and because it is a 
well-known fact that altars of wood existed and were used 
after his time (Merati, 118). This much, however, is cer- 
tain : that the Council of Epaon, held in the year 517, for- 
bade any altars except those of stone to be consecrated. The 
same prohibition may be seen in several of the capitularies 
of Charlemagne (ibid.) 


During the reign of Constantine the Great (from a.d. 312 
to 336), who published many edicts in favor of the Chris- 
tians, stately altars of gold and silver, and sometimes even 
of precious stones, were to be seen in several cities of the 
East and West. The emperor himself had caused to be 
erected at Rome, in the basilica called after his name— now 

Altars of Gold, Silver, and Precious Stones. 115 

the Church of St. John Lateran — seven different altars of the 
purest silver (Kozma, 29, note 4). The Empress Pulcheria 
bestowed upon the great basilica of Constantinople an altar 
formed of gold and gems (ibid.) There is still to be seen 
at Chartres, in France, a very ancient altar made of jasper 
(ibid. ) 

But the greatest of all altars was that of the famous 
Church of Holy Wisdom 1 at Constantinople, justly regarded 
as one of the wonders of the age. Everything that was pre- 
cious on sea or land was purchased and brought together to 
form this singular altar. Gold, silver, and the richest metals, 
with every variety of precious stones, were collected by the 
Emperor Justinian and used in its erection. The most ex- 
perienced artisans of the day were employed in superintend- 
ing its construction, and neither labor nor expense was 
spared to make it perfect of its kind. When finished, the 
following inscription appeared upon it : " We, thy servants, 
Justinian and Theodora, offer unto thee, Christ ! thine 
own gifts out of thine own, which we beseech thee favorably 
to accept, Son and Word of God ! who wast made flesh 

1 This church, from the fact that it is generally called Sancta Sophia, is often 
falsely rendered Saint Sophy, by those who think that it was dedicated under the name 
of some such saint ; whereas it was really dedicated to Holy Wisdom, in Greek "*A-yia 
<ro<f»ta," but " Sancta Sophia " in Latin. This world-renowned church was first built by 
Constantine the Great in the year 325. The second of the same name, and on the same 
foundation, was built by Constantius in 359. Theodosius the Great built a third one 
on the same site in 415. The fourth and last was the temple of Justinian. It was com- 
menced at eight o'clock a.m., February 23, a. d. 532 The architects were Anthemius of 
Tralles and Isidore of Miletus, both eminent mechanicians. Artists from the four 
quarters of the globe were invited to take part in its construction, and foremost among 
the workmen, we are told, was the emperor himself, girt in a tunic and equipped with 
hammer and trowel. Prom the date of its commencement to its completion was five 
years, ten months, and three days. When Justinian saw it finished, and beheld what a 
magnificent edifice it was, he cried out in a transport of admiration, "I have con- 
quered thee, O Solomon ! Glory be to God, who hath accounted me worthy of such a 
work ! " In 1453, when Constantinople fell into the hands of the Turks, this famous 
church was converted into a Mahometan Jami, or greater mosque, and most of its em- 
bellishments, but not all, were destroyed (Neale, Holy Eastern Church, i. 235, 23G ; 
Catholic World, August, 1865 ; Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Horn. Emp., viL 1171. 

116 The Altar. 

and crucified for our sakes ; keep us in the true orthodox 
faith ; and this empire which thou hast committed to our 
trust augment and preserve to thine owxi glory, through the 
intercession of the Holy Mother of God and Virgin Mary " 
(Martene, Be Antiquis Ecclesice Ritobus, art. " Altare"). 


The precise symbolism of the altar is that it denotes 
Christ our Lord, in accordance with what St. Paul says in 
his first Epistle to the Corinthians : " They drank of the 
spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was 
Christ " (Bouvry, ii. 222). According to Venerable Bede, 
the altar is the body of Christ, or all the saints in whom a 
divine lire ever burns, consuming all that is flesh. 


Up to the fifteenth century the right and left of the altar 
were settled by the position of the priest standing before it. 
The part which was opposite his right hand was the altar's 
right, and that opposite his left the altar's left. This or- 
dinance is now exactly the reverse, for the designations of 
right and left are taken from the Crucifix, and not from the 
position of the priest ; so that the right of the altar now is 
the part to the right of the Crucifix — that is, the Gospel 
side ; and the left, the left of the Crucifix, or Epistle side. 
According to Father Le Brun {Explication de la Messe, i. 
171, note), this change was first introduced by Patricius, 
Bishop of Pienza, in Italy, about the year 1488, and 
Pope Pius V. adopted it afterwards in his recension of the 
missal. It is well to bear this in mind when reading such 
works as those of Durandus and Pope Innocent III., who 
wrote prior to this time, for what they invariably call right 
is the left according to the present discipline. This rule 
also holds good in every other case, at Mass and out of Mass, 

Altars of the Orientals, 117 

where it becomes necessary to make a distinction of this 
kind — such, for instance, as in sprinkling with holy water, 
in putting incense in the thurible, and in incensing any- 


It is of strict obligation that every altar upon which the 
Holy Sacrifice is offered should be covered with three linen 
cloths. The first two must be large enough to cover the 
entire table or upper surface ; the third, or outer one, must 
cover the latter two and hang down on both sides so as to 
touch the ground. In case three cannot be had, it is per- 
mitted to fold the under cloth in two, and thus make up 
the complement. Before these cloths are used they must 
be blessed by the bishop, or by one to whom he delegates 
his power in this matter. Three are used in honor of 
the Blessed Trinity (Gavantus, p. 115), as well as to com- 
memorate the linen cloths in which our Lord's Body was 
wrapped when laid in the sepulchre (Kozma, 32). They are 
mentioned as far back as the fourth century, at which period 
they were not spread on the altar until after the exclusion 
of the catechumens — i.e., before the Offertory (ibid.) 


The discipline of the Oriental Church on the subject of 
altars differs but little from our own. With them the 
altars must be of stone also. However, in the absence of 
a regular altar they will say Mass on certain cloths called 
Antimens ; nay, even on a leaf of the Gospel, if necessity 

Antimens. — This word is sometimes written Antimins, 
and nearly always so by the Greeks ; but as it is evidently 
derived from anti, instead of, and 7nensa, a table or altar, 
we prefer writing it as here, because it is more suggestive 

118 The Altar. 

of its origin. These antimens are held in great veneration 
by the Orientals. Their material is generally silk, but in 
some cases linen also is used, after the manner of our cor- 
porals. They are consecrated with much ceremony, relics 
being pounded up with fragrant gum, and holy oil being 
poured out together with them by the bishop and cast upon 
them. Then the Office of the Holy Eucharist is celebrated 
on them for seven successive days before they are fully con- 
secrated. The date of their consecration is generally worked 
upon them, also the name of the consecrating prelate (Neale, 
Holy Eastern Church, vol. i. p. 186 ; Hierurgia, 504 ; Goar, 
Euchol. Grcec, 653). They measure about sixteen inches 
square, and have generally a figure stamped upon them repre- 
senting the burial of our Lord by Joseph of Arimathea and 
the holy women (Romanoff, Rites and Customs of the Greco- 
Russian Church, pp. 84, 85). The discipline of the Russian 
Church is so strict regarding these sacred cloths that no 
church can be consecrated without them. When not in ac- 
tual use, they are carefully folded up in a silken cloth called 
the lliton (ibid.) Instead of these antimens, the Syrians use, 
when pressed by necessity, slabs of wood called Mensm, 
which they also employ, when the notion takes them, even 
though regularly consecrated altars can be had (Neale, 187). 


The Orientals also, like ourselves, use three coverings. 
The manner in which they vest the altar is thus described 
by Neale : "At the angles of the mensa are placed four 
small pieces of cloth, symbolizing the four Evangelists, and 
adorned with their respective emblems. Over these the 
catasarha of silk or stuff is spread, having four strings 
or tassels at its extremities, and over this the €7rsvSv- 
GiS, ependusis, or exterior covering, generally worked with 
crosses" (i. p. 187). Although Neale agrees with Goar re- 

Altar Cards. 119 

garding the number of altar coverings used by the Orien- 
tals, still the latter mentions one — viz., the eileton — not 
named by the former (Euchol. Grcec, p. 849). 

According to the Ritual of Russia, the altar's first cover- 
ing is a white linen cloth made in the form of a cross, the 
four ends of which hang down to the floor. It is called the 
stratchitza, and by it is meant the linen cloth left by our 
Lord in the sepulchre after his glorious resurrection (Ro- 
manoff, 85). The second covering resembles this in every- 
thing, only that its material is of a richer kind. This is 
denominated the inditia, and signifies the "glory of God." 
The third article is called the iliton (same as the Greek 
eileton) ; it is intended to call to mind the napkin which 
bound the head of our Lord, and which the Apostles Peter 
and John saw "wrapped in a place by itself" {Greco- 
Russian Church, p. 85). 

The first cloth put on by the Copts is of a black color 
{mappa nigra). With them, and in fact with the majority 
of the Orientals, the altar is always bare and unfurnished 
except at Mass ; nor must it ever be dressed unless when 
the priest is standing before it making his acts of pre- 
paration for the Liturgy (Renaudot, Liturg. Orient. Collec- 
tio, torn. i. 166). 

On Holy Thursday the Latin Church strips the altar of 
all its coverings and ornaments, leaving nothing but the 
candelabra and crucifix. This is intended to recall to 
mind the denudation of our Divine Lord during his bitter 
Passion (Bouvry, ii. 515). 


For the greater convenience of the priest there are always 
placed on the altar three large cards, standing upright, con- 
taining certain portions of the Mass which may be read at 
sight. The priest, it is true, is expected to have these al- 

*20 The Altar. 

ready committed to memory ; but as the memory often fails 
when we least expect it, it has been deemed advisable to 
have certain prayers always in sight, and not trust to un- 
certainty of any kind. 

The card at the Gospel side contains the Gospel of St. 
John. That in the centre the " Gloria in excelsis " and 
" Credo," as well as all the prayers said at the Offertory ; 
also the " Qui pridie," or beginning of the Canon, the form 
of consecration, the prayers before Communion, and the 
last prayer, or " Placeat." The card at the Epistle side con- 
tains the prayer recited in putting the water into the chalice, 
and that said at the washing of the fingers. Strictly speak- 
ing, only the centre card is necessary, and it is the only one 
the rubric calls for ; the other two have been introduced by 




Duking the persecutions 1 the faithful were accustomed 
to turn the tombs in which the martyrs were interred into 
altars, and offer the Holy Sacrifice upon them. This can be 
proved by innumerable testimonies, and even by ocular de- 
monstration at this great distance, if trouble be taken to 
visit the Eoman Catacombs and read their sacred inscrip- 
tions. "In the midst of these venerable symbols," says 
D'Agincourt (torn. ii. p. 86), "upon a large slab of marble 
which completely covered the sarcophagus of the martyr, 
tne first ministers of the Christian worship celebrated the 
mysteries of our faith in the time of persecution." Hence 
the origin of such appellations as " Memoria," "Confessio," 
" Martyrium," and "Apostolia" given by the ancient 
Fathers to such places, and subsequently applied to the 
churches erected over or near them (Kozma, 21, note ; Hie- 
rurgia, 496). The name "Martyrium," however, was not 
always confined to the altar nor to the church built over a 
martyr's tomb ; it was sometimes given even to an ordinary 
church when the latter was erected through the zeal of any 

1 It is generally admitted that there were ten persecutions of the Christians in the 
anrly days of Christianity. The first began under Nero ; the second, under Domitian ; 
the third, under Trajan ; fourth, under Marcus Aurelius ; fifth, under Severus ; sixth, 
under Maximin ; seventh, under Decius and Gallus ; eighth, under Valerian ; ninth, 
under Claudius and Aurelian ; and the tenth, under Diocletian and Maximian. The 
date of the last was a.d. 303. 


122 Relics. 

private individual. Thus, Cons tan tine the Great called the 
church he built at Jerusalem a "Martyrium," as being a 
monument or witness of his good feelings towards the Chris- 
tian people (Kiddle, Christian Antiquities, p. 704). 


When peace was restored to the Church the custom of 
saying Mass on the tombs of the martyrs gradually died 
away and gave place to the present discipline of depositing 
some portions of the martyrs' bodies in the newly-conse- 
crated altars. Hence the import of that prayer now saia by 
the priest as he lays his hands on the sacred table at the be- 
ginning of Mass : "We pray thee, Lord ! through the 
merits of thy saints whose relics are here placed, and of all 
the saints, that thou wouldst vouchsafe to forgive me all my 

The relics of the martyrs are placed in the altar by the 
bishop who consecrates it; and, in order to verify the 
words of the above prayer, it is required that a plurality 
be inserted. It is customary to enclose with the martyrs' 
relics some also of the saint to whose name the church is 
dedicated. Hereupon it is well to remark that a portion of 
the saint's or martyr's dress is not enough ; the relic must be 
a part of the body (S. R. C, April 13, 1867, N. 5379 ; De 
Herdt, i. No. 178). Liturgical writers tell us that it was 
Pope Felix (third century) who first enjoined this practice 
(Merati, Thesaur. Fit., 115). The holy relics, before being 
deposited in the altar, are first enclosed in a little case made 
of silver or other metal, and have generally accompanying 
them the names of the saints whose relics they are, and the 
name of the bishop who deposited them (Martinucci, vii. 
306 ; Catalanus, Pontif. Roman., iii. 403). They are de- 
posited with these words : " Under the altar of God ye saints 

Holy Eucharist deposited in place of Relics. 123 

of God have received a place ; intercede for us with our 
Lord Jesus Christ." 


A very singular custom prevailed at one time in many 
places of depositing the Sacred Host in the altar when no 
relics could be obtained. Durandus, Bishop of Mende, who 
died and was buried at Rome in 1296, says in his Rationale 
Divinorum, p. 54, that when genuine relics cannot be had 
the altar must not be consecrated without the Holy Eucha- 
rist. The same custom was once very prevalent in England 
while that country was Catholic. This we learn, among 
other sources, from the Council of Calcuith, held in A.D. 
816, where the following enactment was made: "When a 
church is built let it he hallowed by the bishop of the dio- 
cese ; afterwards let the Eucharist which the bishop conse- 
crates at that Mass be laid up, together with the relics con- 
tained in the little box, and kept in the same basilica ; but 
if he cannot find any other relics, then will the Eucharist, 
most of all, serve the purpose, for it is the Body and Blood 
of our Lord Jesus Christ " ( Church of Our Fathers, vol. i. 
p. 41, note). This custom lasted in England up to the fif- 
teenth century (ibid.) Three particles of incense, as is also 
the rule now, used to be enclosed in the little box where the 
relics were deposited (ibid. 42). 

Another custom that prevailed in certain places was to en- 
close with the regular relics portions of the instruments em- 
ployed in torturing the martyrs, as well as documents of 
high veneration. From a record of St. Paul's Church, Lon- 
don, in 1295, we find that its jasper altar had deposited, in it, 
besides the relics of SS. Philip and Andrew and those of 
SS. Denis and Blasius, a relic also of the veritable cross 
upon which St. Andrew was crucified (ibid. 254). 

124 Belies. 


At Messina, in Sicily, there is said to be an altar in which 
is enclosed, as a most precious relic, a letter written by the 
Mother of God herself. The history of this curious letter 
is as follows : Tradition has it that the Messinese received 
the faith direct from the Prince of the Apostles himself 
during his Roman Pontificate. Their cathedral is one of 
the most august in Europe, and the most venerable by 
reason of its great antiquity, for it was founded in a.d. 
1197. In the year a.d. 42, as the legend goes, St. Paul 
visited Messina, and having found the people there well 
disposed, and eager to hear the word of God from his lips, 
he preached them two sermons, one on our Lord's Passion, 
the other on the perpetual virginity of our Blessed Lady. 
This latter had such a telling effect upon the inhabitants 
that they cried out with one acclaim, " Our city must be 
placed under the protection of the Virgin Mother." The 
Btory goes on to say that an embassy, at the head of which 
was St. Paul himself, was sent to Jerusalem, where the Mo- 
ther of God was then living, and that as soon as the Blessed 
Virgin received the embassy she sent a reply to the Messi- 
nese in Hebrew, stating that she was willing to accede to 
their pious wishes. This letter was afterwards done into 
Greek by St. Paul, and deposited in the ancient church of 
Messina, whence in course of time it was removed to its 
present place in the altar of the cathedral church. The 
following is a copy of this singular document : 

" Mary, Virgin, daughter of Joachim, most lowly hand- 
maid of God, Mother of the Crucified Jesus Christ, of the 
tribe of Juda, from the race of David, to all the people 
of Messina salutation and blessing from God the Father 
Almighty. It is certified by public documents that all of 
you have, in great faith, sent emissaries and ambassadors 

Belies of the Orientals. 125 

to us. Led to know the way of the truth through the 
preaching of Paul the Apostle, ye confess that our Son, the 
Only-Begotten of God, is both God and man, and that he 
ascended into heaven after his resurrection. For this 
reason we, therefore, bless ye and your city, whose per- 
petual Protectress we desire to become. — Year of our Son 
42 ; Indiction I. ; iii. nones of June ; xxvii. of the moon ; 
feria v. from Jerusalem. Mary, Virgin, who hath approved 
the handwriting above" (Catholic Italy, by Hemans, vol. 
ii. p. 511). 

To establish the genuineness of this letter the learned 
Jesuit, Father Melchior Inchofer, wrote a very learned 
Latin work, entitled Epidolce B. Virginis Marim ad Messi- 
nenses Veritas vindicata — " The truth of the Epistle of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary to the people of Messina vindi- 
cated." • 


The Orientals agree with us also in the discipline regard- 
ing sacred relics. These, with the Eastern churches, are 
often placed under the altar in a little box, and are held in 
the greatest veneration by the people. According to the 
Ritual of Russia, 2 this little box is only placed there when 
the archbishop consecrates the church in person and not by 
deputy (Romanoff, 84). Without these relics the Nestorian 
Rituals forbid any altar whatever to be consecrated (Smith 
and Dwight, Travels in Armenia, ii. 236). 

* The Russian Church uses the same liturgies and ceremonies as the Greek Church, 
but the language of the Maes is Slavonic. There are, of course, a few other diffe- 
rences of minor note. i 

* By order of the Sacred Congregation of the Index the word truth, as herei* 
applied, was afterwards changed into conjecture. 



According to the best liturgical writers, the custom of 
placing the Crucifix — that is, a cross with the image of our 
Lord crucified upon it — has been derived from the Apostles 
themselves. Mention is made of it by all the early Fathers, 
and, as we shall see a little further on, it has always been 
used by the Orientals (Bouvry, ii. 225 ; Kozma, 33). It is 
intended to remind all that in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 
the same Victim is offered which was offered on Calvary, but 
in an unbloody manner. " The Church omits nothing," 
says Pope Benedict XIV., "to impress upon the minds of 
the priest and people that the Sacrifice of the altar and that 
of the Cross are the same " (Bouvry, ii. 22, note). 

Whenever there is an exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 
it is recommended to take away the Crucifix as long as the 
reality is present ; but, if this cannot be conveniently done, 
it is not insisted upon. In fact, every church is allowed to 
follow its own custom in this respect (De Herdt, i. 181). 


While on the subject of Crosses we deem it well to men- 
tion the different kinds, as erroneous notions are prevalent 
about some of them. There are usually enumerated six 
different kinds of Crosses — viz. : 1st. The Latin Cross, where 


Different Kinds of Crosses. 121 

the transverse beam cuts the upright shaft near the top. 
2d. The Greek Cross, where two equal beams cut each other 
in the middle. 3d. The Cross commonly known as St. An- 
drew's, because the saint was crucified on it ; it resembles 
the letter X. 4th. The Egyptian, or St. Anthony's Cross, 
shaped like the letter T. 5th. The Maltese Cross, so called 
because worn by the Knights of Malta, formed of four equi 
lateral triangles, whose apices meet in one common point 
6th. The Russian Cross, having two transverse beams at the 
head, and one near the foot of the upright shaft, slightly 
inclined, to favor a tradition of long standing with the Rus- 
sians — viz., that when our Lord hung on the Cross one of 
his feet was lifted a little higher than the other (Coxe, 
Travels in Russia, p. 593). 

Triple Cross. — A Cross with three transverse bars or tran- 
soms is generally denominated the Papal Cross ; but this is 
nothing more than pure imagination, for no such Cross ever 
existed among papal insignia, and it exists nowhere to-day. 
When the Holy Father moves in procession nothing but the 
simplest kind of Cross — viz., that with one transverse beam 
■ — is carried before him, and it is well known that he never 
uses a bishop's crook, or crosier, as it is called. A triple 
Cross, therefore, is a misconception, invented by painters, 
but never authorized by the Church. 

Double Cross. — The double Cross, or that with two 
transverse beams at the head, one a little longer than the 
other, owes its origin evidently to the fact that upon the 
true Cross whereon our Lord suffered a board was placed 
above the head with the inscription in Hebrew, in Greek, 
and in Latin, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." 
This board is represented by one transom ; and that on 
which our Lord's head rested, and to which his hands were 
nailed, forms the second, and hence the so-called double 

128 Crucifixes and Crosses. 

Archiepiscopal Cross. — We are entirely at a loss to know 
how this double Cross came to be an archiepiscopal ensign. 
Neither the Cceremoniale Episcoporum nor the Pontificate 
Romanum gives a word to distinguish it from any other ; 
nor is it spoken of by any liturgical writer of our acquain- 
tance, and there are few whose works we have n^t perused. 
It cannot be denied, however, that such Crosses are in use, 
and that they were formerly in vogue in certain places, par- 
ticularly with the English prelates. It is generally supposed 
that they found their way into England from, the East in 
the time of the Crusades. It is supposed, too, that his lord- 
ship Anthony Beck, Bishop of Durham, whom Pope Clement 
V., in 1305, created patriarch of Jerusalem, had something to 
do with their introduction, for they were very common with 
^he Greeks (Dr. Eock, Church of Our Fathers, vol. ii. pp. 218- 
223). It may interest the reader to know that the only two 
prelates in the Church who are mentioned by name as hav' 
ing a peculiar right to the double Cross are the Patriarch 
of Venice ' and the Archbishop of Agria, in Hungary (Koz- 
ma, 73, note 3). 

Jansenistic Crosses. — Crosses in which the arms of our 
Lord are but partly extended are called Jansenistic, from 
Cornelius Jansens, Bishop of Ipres, or Ypres, in Belgium, 
a.d. 1635, who maintained the heretical doctrine that Christ 
died not for all mankind but only for the good. To con- 
form with the true doctrine that Christ died for all, a regu- 
lar Catholic Crucifix would represent our Lord's arms fully 

1 Although the term patriarch is now nothing more than a mere honorary title, still 
it is well for the reader know that there are twelve snch dignitaries in the Catholic 
Chnrch to-day— viz., the patriarchs of Constantinople, of Alexandria, of Antioch of 
the Maronites, of Antioch of the Melchites, of Antioch of the Syrians, of Antioch of the 
Latins, of Jerusalem, of Babylon, of the Indies, of Lisbon, of Cilicia, and of Venio* 
iQurarchia Oattolica, 1873). 

How our Lord aas fastened to the Cross. 129 


It is commonly supposed that our Lord's feet were sepa- 
rately nailed to the Cross, and not placed one over the other 
and fastened by a single nail, as is the tradition in the 
Greek Church. Pope Benedict XIV., commenting on this 
point, pertinently remarks that it would be almost impos- 
sible to avoid breaking some of the bones of the feet if one 
rested on the other and a nail were driven through both. 
There would be danger in that case of making void the 
Scriptural saying to the effect that not a bone of our Saviour 
was to be broken. 

Before the twelfth century the paintings representing the 
Crucifixion always exhibited our Lord's feet nailed sepa- 
rately ; and, therefore, four nails instead of three were the 
entire number that fastened him to the cross. St. Gregory 
of Tours and Durandus speak of four nails, but the latter 
writer also alludes to three without saying which number he 
himself inclines to (Rationale Divinorum, p. 537). From 
time immemorial the Latin Church has kept to the tradi- 
tion that four nails were employed, and not three, and she 
represents our Lord as thus crucified (see Notes, Eccle- 
siological and Historical, on the Holydays of the English 
Church, p. 172). 

It is commonly believed that one of the nails of the Cru- 
cifixion is kept yet in the Church of the Holy Cross at 
Rome, and that the cathedrals of Paris, Treves, and Toul 
have the others. When St. Helena first discovered them it 
is said that she attached one to the helmet of her son, Con- 
stantine the Great, and another to the bridle of his horse. 
Tradition has it that she threw a third into the Adriatic 
Sea to appease a storm. The crown of Italy contains a por- 
tion of one of these nails, and filings from them are kept as 

130 Crucifixes and Crosses, 

precious relics in many churches of Europe {The Sacramen* 
tals, by Kev. W. J. Barry). 



The Oriental disciplinary canons regarding the sacred 
symbol of salvation are very strict. No service must take 
place without having the Cross prominent. There is one 
placed on the altar for the people to kiss the moment 
they enter the church. It may be seen in all the principal 
streets of Eastern cities, especially within the Russian do- 
minions, and there is hardly a private house in which the 
Crucifix and an image of our Blessed Lady, with a lamp 
burning before them, are not prominently in view (see Por- 
ter's Travels, p. 54 ; Romanoff, Greco- Russian Church, pp. 
84 and 93). 

The Armenians have an extraordinary reverence for the 
Cross. Before they apply it to use it is first consecrated 
with much ceremony. To this end it is washed in wine 
and water, in imitation of the blood and water which flowed 
from our Saviour's side, and is then anointed with the sa- 
cred oil, or meiron, in token of the Holy Spirit who de- 
scended upon him. Following this, several passages from 
the Psalms, the Prophets, and from the Epistles and Gos- 
pels are recited ; after which the priest sends up a prayer of 
invocation that God may give to this Cross the power of 
casting out devils, of healing diseases, and of appeasing the 
wrath that visits us on account of our sins. A Cross when 
thus consecrated is called by the Armenians the " Throne 
of Christ," his " Chariot," his " Weapon for the conquest 
of Satan" (Smith and D wight, Researches in Armenia, 
vol. i. pp. 157, 158). 

The Nestorians, also, have a singular reverence for it. 
In order that they may ei>ter the house of God filled with 

Practice of the Oriental Church regarding the Crucifix. 131 

holy recollections, it stands at the very threshold of all their 
churches (Badger, Nestorians and their Rituals, ii. 135), 
and not unfrequently is it worn with the prints of their 
kisses. The two authors just quoted inform us that the 
first act a Nestorian Christian performs upon entering the 
church, and before he takes his seat, is to doff his shoes 
and pay his obeisance to the Cross, which stands on a side 
altar, by humbly approaching and kissing it (ii. p. 210). 
One of the greatest festivals in the Nestorian calendar is 
"Holy-Cross Day," which is celebrated with great pomp 
on the 13th of November. As the Rev. Mr. Badger admits, 
volumes might be written about the veneration paid the 
Cross by the Nestorians, heretics though they be. 

Nor are the Copts 9 behindhand in this sacred duty. 
Their reverence for it is so great that, in order to have it 
always before their eyes, they inscribe it on their arms by 
a process of tattooing ; and when any one asks them whether 
they are Christians or not, the arm thus tattooed is at once 
displayed in testimony of their belief (Pococke, Travels in 
Egypt, p. 370). 

Protestant missionaries to the East would do well to re- 
sume their reverence for the sacred symbol of salvation. 
As long as they reject it from their service, and ridicule 
the pious veneration paid to it East and West, their prose 
lytes will be very few. In many parts of the Orient they 
are looked upon as heathens on this account alone. The 
authors above cited are forced to make open confession of 
this fact. 

* In speaking of the Eastern Christians throughout this work we have not deemed 
It necessary, unless in a few particular cases, to specify their doctrinal tenets. As 
far as ceremonies and liturgical customs are concerned, there exists hardly 
any difference between the orthodox and the heterodox. It is well that the 
reader should bear this carefully in mind, as it will serve as a key to many a 


Alongside the crucifix there are placed on every altar 
for the celebration of Mass two candlesticks with candles 
of pure wax burning in them during the entire time of 
divine service. At Solemn High Mass the rule requires 
at least six. At a Low Mass celebrated by a bishop it is 
customary to light four. An ordinary priest can never em- 
ploy more than two. When the Holy Father celebrates 
High Mass the candles used are always ornamented (Mar- 
tinucci, ii. p. 31, note). 

The rule requiring the candles to be of pure wax is very 
stringent, and dispensations from its observance are rarely 
granted unless in difficult circumstances. The Catholic 
missionaries in some parts of the empire of China and 
throughout Hindostan have, when pressed by necessity, 
been allowed by the Holy See to use oil instead of candles. 
Sperm candles and those known as paraffine are wholly 
interdicted, unless in case of churches whose poverty is 
so great that none others can be purchased. Besides the 
natural reason for prohibiting the use of any lights but 
those of pure wax — viz., because those of any other ma- 
terial usually emit an offensive odor — there are many spirit- 
ual or mystical reasons also, the principal of which is that 
the pure wax symbolizes our Lord's humanity, which was 
stainless and sinless ; and the light his divinity, which 
always shone forth and illuminated his every action. 


Mystic Signification of Lights. 133 


It is an opinion which it would be rash to differ from that 
the use of lights at the celebration of Mass is of apostolic 
origin. Cardinal Bona and all liturgists of note strongly 
maintain this, and many passages of the Xew Testament 
seem to warrant it (Bona, Rer. Liturg., pp. 206-294). 


There are many mystic significations, besides the one we 
have mentioned, to be found in the use of lights at Mass. In 
the first place, they represent our Divine Lord's mission 
upon earth in a very striking and happy manner. He is 
called by the Prophet Isaias " a great Light," who also says 
that " to them who dwelt in the region of the shadow of 
death a Light is risen " (chap. ix. 2). The same prophet 
calls him the " Light of Jehovah," and calls upon Jerusalem 
to arise and be enlightened by him. When the aged Simeon 
first saw him and held him in his arms in the Temple, he 
designated him as "a Light to the revelation of the Gen- 
tiles " (Luke ii. 32). He calls himself the Light of the world: 
" I am the Light of the world " (John viii.); and St. John 
describes him as "the true Light which enlighteneth every 
man coming into this world." The Rabbis also had this 
idea of our Divine Lord, or the " great Expected of nations," 
as he was called, for they looked to him as the Light of God 
who was to guide them in the way of peace (Essays on the 
Names and Titles of Jesus Christ, p. 216, by Ambrose Serle ; 
London, 1837). Then, again, his teaching is aptly compared 
to a light ; for as the latter dispels physical darkness, which 
hides all the beauties of nature from our gaze, so the former 
dispels all the darkness of the soul and enables it to see what 
is beautiful and true and good in the spiritual order. " Thy 
word is a lamp to my feet," says the royal Psalmist, " and a 
light to my paths " (Ps. cxviii.) But more especially iff the 

134 Lights. 

word of the holy Gospel this lamp and light, for which 
reason, when it is chanted in the Mass, the Church wisely or- 
dains that lights should accompany it in solemn procession. 
" Whenever the Gospel is read," says St. Jerome, writing to 
Vigilantius, " lights are produced ; not, indeed, to banish 
darkness, but to demonstrate a sign of joy, that under the 
type of a corporal light that light may be manifested of 
which we read in the Psalmist : ' Thy word, Lord, is a 
lamp to my feet and a light to my paths ' " (Hierurgia, p. 

Lights in the Old Law. — The use of lights in the Jewish 
ceremonial is so well authenticated that we need not stay to 
prove it . The Holy Scriptures themselves attest it. Nor 
heed we dwell particularly on the seven-branched candlestick 
which God himself ordered to be made and to be kept filled 
with oil, in order that it may burn always (see Exod. xxv. 
and xxvii. 20), for it is not certain whether this candlestick 
gave light also during the day. If it did not it would not 
help our purpose much to cite it as an example. Josephus, 
however, who is a very reliable authority in this matter, dis- 
tinctly says that three of its lamps burned also in the day- 
time {Antiquities of the Jews, book iii. chap. viii. 3); and 
in his account of the building of the Temple by Hiram of 
Tyre he says that ten thousand candlesticks were made, one 
of which was specially dedicated for the sacred edifice 
itself, "that it might burn in the day-time, according to 
law " (book viii. chap. iii. 7). 


One of the most impressive ceremonies of the entire rite 
of holy baptism is witnessed at that place where the priest 
puts into the hand of the newly-baptized a lighted candle, 
with the following solemn admonition : "Receive this burn- 
ing light, and preserve your baptism blamelessly ; keep the 

Lights as Marks of Respect 135 

commandments of God, in order that when the Lord shall 
come to the marriage- feast you may run to meet him with 
all the saints in his celestial palace, and may have life ever- 
lasting and live for ever and ever. Amen." 


Lights are significant of great respect, and hence they 
were used on occasions of great moment. The Athenians 
employed them on the feasts of Minerva, Vulcan, and Pro- 
metheus, and the Romans used them on all their solemn 
days (Notes and Illustrations on the Reasons of the Law of 
Moses, by Rabbi Maimonides, p. 411). Out of the great re- 
spect that the Jews had for the garments of their high- 
priest, a light was kept constantly burning before them as 
long as they remained deposited in the tower called " Anto- 
nia" at Jerusalem (Josephus, Antiq. of the Jews, book 
xviii. chap. iv. 3). The grand lama, or sovereign pontiff, of 
Tartary is never seen in his palace without having a profu- 
sion of lamps and torches burning around him (Burder, 
Relig. Customs and Ceremonies), and it is a well-known fact 
that a certain European dignitary — a son of one of the 
crowned heads — upon occasion of his visit to this country 
some years ago, refused to sit down in the apartments as- 
signed him in one of our fashionable hotels until two wax 
candles had been brought and lighted before him. This 
etiquette is very common in the East (see Religious Ceremo- 
nies and Customs, by Burder, p. 502 and passim). 

Lights at Funerals and Graves. — Eusebius gives a glow- 
ing account of the profusion of lights used at the funeral 
obsequies of Constantine the Great, who died a.d. 337, and 
St. Jerome speaks of the quantity used at the burial of the 
pious St. Paula. When the body of St. John Chrysostom 
was conveyed from Comana to Constantinople vast crowds 
pf people came to meet the cortege in ships on the Bos- 

136 Lights. 

phorus, and so numerous were the lights that burned on 
the occasion that the whole sea appeared as if ablaze 
(Hierurgia, p. 403). Lights were kept constantly burning 
in Westminster Abbey, London, before England's great 
heroes, and the old story of lamps being found burning in 
sepulchres after the lapse of ages clearly shows how im- 
portant it was considered by the ancients to show this mark 
of respect to the dead. 


Besides the regular lights placed upon the altar at the 
beginning of Mass, others are brought out by acolytes at the 
approach of consecration, and are kept burning as long as 
our Divine Lord is present on the altar — that is, until after 
the Communion. 

Oriental Practice in this Respect.— The discipline of the 
Oriental Church and ours is in perfect agreement on this 
point, as every one can testify who has ever travelled in the 
East or looked into any of the Oriental Liturgies. The 
Copts on no account will say Mass without two candles at 
least. "Liturgia non celebretur," says one of their canons, 
" absque cereis duobus majoribus aut minoribus qui altare 
luceant " — that is, " Let not the Liturgy be celebrated with- 
out two large wax candles or two small ones to burn on 
the altar " (Eenaudot, Liturg. Orient. Col., i. p. 179). The 
rest of the Oriental churches are equally strict in their ob- 
servance of this practice. 

We have designedly dwelt on this subject in order to 
show that Protestants have no grounds whatever for saying 
that our practice of burning lights in the open day is ridicu* 
lous, and without any meaning or precedent to justify it. 



The small structure in the centre of the altar, resembling 
a church in appearance, is called the Tabernacle of the 
Blessed Sacrament. It is here that the Holy Eucharist is 
always reserved under lock and key ; and so particular is 
the Church about the respect that should be paid it that 
the most minute directions are given regarding its exterior 
and interior ornamentation. In shape it may be square, 
hexagonal, heptagonal, or any other becoming form ; but it 
must not be crowned with any profane devices, or be made 
so as to suggest anything else than the sacred purpose for 
which it is intended ; hence, as far as can be, a cross should 
surmount its top, and its outside, if means admit, should 
be finished in gold. As wood is less liable to contract 
dampness than any other material, it is advisable to have 
the Tabernacle made of it ; but if made of marble, metal, or 
any kind of stone, its inside at least should be lined with 
wood out of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. No mat- 
ter what its material be, the interior must always be covered 
over with silk, and a clean corporal must lie under the ves- 
sel in which the Blessed Sacrament is enclosed. 

It is strictly forbidden to make the Tabernacle a base for 
anything to rest on, even though the thing were a reliquary 
containing a portion of the true cross or a relic of the great- 
est saint in heaven ; and it is forbidden, too, to have any 
drawers over or under it for the purpose of keeping the holy 


138 The Tabernacle. 

oils or any utensils belonging to the altar or sanctuary. 
Upon no consideration can any empty vessels be kept within 
it, such as the chalice, ciborium, lunette, monstrance, or the 
like. Nothing, in fact, is allowed there but the sacred vessel 
containing the Blessed Sacrament ; and if for any reason 
this should not be there, the door should be always open, in 
order that the people may not be deceived. 

The Tabernacle should have two keys, made of gold or 
silver, or at least gilt, one of which should be kept by the 
pastor himself, the other by one of his priests. 

A lamp fed with pure olive-oil must burn before it per- 
petually — a discipline which, as we have seen, prevails also 
in the Oriental Church, and by which we are reminded of 
the " perpetual fire " of Solomon's Temple, and of that sa- 
cred mystic fire of divine charity with which our Lord's 
heart ever burns in the adorable Sacrament of the Altar, 



THfJ Missal is the next thing that claims our considera- 
tion. It is a large book in folio, printed in Latin in red and 
black letters, and containing all the Masses that are to be 
said throughout the year. It begins with the first Sunday 
of Advent. 1 The portions printed throughout in red letters 
are termed the rubrics.* They give the directions by which 
a priest is to be guided in performing the various actions of 
the Mass. Attached to the Missal are five large ribbons, 
or boo"k-marks, corresponding in color to the five colors 
used in the sacred vestments. It is customary to mark the 
Mass of the day with the ribbon that suits it in color. 
That part of the Missal called the "Canon" has slips of 
leather attached to its leaves for the greater convenience of 
the priest. 

1 The First Sunday of Advent has no fixed date. According to the present disci- 
pline, it is always the nearest Sunday to St Andrew's Feast (November 30), whether 
before or after it. In case this feast should fall on a Sunday it is transferred to some 
other day, and that Sunday Is the first of Advent. The old rule for finding Advent 
Sunday was thus expressed : 

" Saint Andrew the king 
Three weeks and three days before Christmas comes in ; 
Three days after, or three days before, 
Advent Sunday knocks at the door." 

1 The word rubric, which comes from the Latin ruber, red, was first applied by the 
ancient Romans to a species of red chalk with which they marked the titles of their 
books and statutes ; in process of time the red writing itself received the name, and in 
this way has it descended to us. What the Romans called rubrlca the Greeks called 
mUt08. The latter used it in painting their ships (Homer, Mad, ix. 125). 


140 The Missal 


Although the rubric calls for a cushion to support the 
Missal, general custom justifies the use of a regular book- 
stand for this purpose. The precise symbolism of the 
cushion is this : it denotes the tender hearts of the true 
hearers of the word of God, and not the hard hearts such 
as were manifested for it by the Jews (Gavantus, 116). 


Who the author of the first Missal was it is not easy to 
determine. Some are of opinion that it was St. James the 
Apostle, 3 first Bishop of Jerusalem, and that he composed 
it in the Cenacle of Sion (Kozma, 97; Kenaudot, Dissert, 
de Liturg. Orient. Origine et Auctoritate, vol. i.) Be this 
so or not, all are agreed that the Liturgy which bears the 
name of this Apostle is the most ancient in existence. It 
was committed to writing about a.d. 200. 

Following closely upon the apostolic age we find no less 
than four special books employed in the service of the altar 
— viz., an Antiphonary, an Evangeliary, a Lectionary, and 
a Sacramentary. The Antiphonary contained all that was 
to be sung by the choir and sacred ministers. It was some- 

■ There were two apostles who bore the name of James. One, called James the 
Greater from his seniority in age, was the son of Zebedee and Mary (surnamed 
Salome). The other, called James the Less, also the Just from his great sanc- 
tity, and "Brother of the Lord" because allied to him as cousin-german, 
was the son of Alphaeus and Mary (sister of the Blessed Virgin). He was 
appointed Bishop of Jerusalem soon after our Lord's ascension, where he met 
death at the hands of the Jews by being cast from the battlements of the 
Temple and then despatched with a blow from a fuller's club. According to 
Josephus, he was esteemed so holy a man that it was generally believed the 
final overthrow and destruction of Jerusalem was a divine visitation in punish- 
ment for his cruel death. He is the author of the Catholic Epistle which goes 
by his name. 

Ancient Missals. 141 

thing like our modern gradual. The Evangeliary contained 
the series of Gospels for the Sundays and festivals of the 
year. In the Lectionary were to be found all the lessons 
that were read in the Mass from the Old and New Testa- 
ments ; and whatever the priest himself had to recite, such 
as the Collects, Secrets, Preface, Canon, etc., was found in 
the Sacramentary. 

The authorship of these four volumes is yet an unsettled 
question. John the Deacon (1. 2, c. 6), who wrote the life of 
Pope St. Gregory the Great, tells us that he saw with his own 
eyes the Antiphonary which was composed by that pontiff ; 
but whether we are to consider this as the first written, or 
only as a new edition of the first, the writer does not state. 
Many, however, are of opinion that this really was the first 
written, so that Pope Gregory may be considered its true 
author (Kozma, 99, note ; Gavantus, 5). 

Of the Lectionary we find mention made as far back as 
the middle of the third century, for St. Hippolytus, Bishop 
of Porto, in Italy, alludes to it in his so-called Paschal 
Canon (Kozma, ibid.) Its precise author is unknown. 
Towards the end of the fourth century it underwent a 
thorough revision at the hands of St. Jerome, who was 
specially appointed for the task by His Holiness Pope St. 
Damasus. The Epistles and Gospels to be read throughout 
the year were inserted in it, after much care had been ex- 
pended in assigning to the different Sundays and festivals 
the particular lessons that were best suited to them. This 
codex is sometimes called the Hieronymian Lectionary, 
from St. Jerome (Hieronymus in Greek), its compiler ; 
and it is from it that the series of Epistles and Gospels 
in our present Missal has been taken (Kozma, 177, note ; 
Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., 5). 

The authorship of the Evangeliary is still unsettled. 
Mention is often made of it by ancient writers, yet little 

142 The Missal 

attempt has been made at discovering its precise author, 
and this principally on account of its great antiquity. 

Regarding the Sacramentary, called also the Book of the 
Mysteries, much dispute has been raised. Although gene- 
rally ascribed to Pope Leo the Great (fifth century), and 
called Leonine from him, yet some of the ablest liturgical 
Writers deny it to be his composition. Besides this so- 
called Leonine Sacramentary, two others appeared in course 
of time : one edited by Pope Gelasius, the other by Pope 
Gregory the Great. The Gelasian was, to all intents and 
purposes, a recast of the Leonine, and the Gregorian was 
formed from them both. Whenever allusion is now made 
to a Sacramentary, that issued under the appellation of the 
Gregorian is always understood, for it was more complete 
than any other (Kozma, p. 99, note 9). 

As it was oftentimes very embarrassing for a priest, es- 
pecially if celebrating Low Mass, to have to turn from one 
to another of these four volumes whenever he wanted to 
read a particular prayer or lesson, the necessity of hav- 
ing one book in which the matter of all the four would 
be combined was soon felt, and this led to the subsequent 
introduction of what were termed Plenary Missals. Al- 
though Missals of this kind were in use long before the 
Council of Trent (1545 to 1563), still, inasmuch as they 
received greater perfection in being remodelled by a special 
decree of the Fathers of this august assembly, their origin 
is generally ascribed to it. The Sacramentary of Pope 
Gregory the Great was the norma employed in preparing 
the new Plenary Missal. The task, first taken in hand by 
Pope Pius IV., was brought to a termination by his suc- 
cessor, Pius V., who in 1570 produced a new Missal and 
issued a bull enjoining its observance on all. This is the 
Mass Book that we use to-day (Kozma, p. 101, note 3). 

Of course the reader must not suppose that any change 

Missals of the Orientals. 143 

of a substantial nature was made in the Ordinary of the 
Mass when preparing this new edition of the Missal. All 
that Pope Pius V. did was to reduce it to a better form 
and expunge those errors and interpolations from it which 
were introduced about the period of the Eeformation. He 
did, it is true, make some things obligatory which it had 
been customary to say or omit at pleasure before his time, 
such as the Psalm " Judica me, Deus," at the beginning 
of Mass, and the Gospel of St. John at the end ; but this 
was all. The rest of his emendations principally concerned 
certain rubrical observances which affected in no way the 
norma of the Mass. 


The Orientals use many more books in the service of the 
altar than we. The Greeks alone employ as many as 
eighteen, the principal of which are the following : 1, 
the Euchology, which contains the three Liturgies used 
by all who follow the Greek Rite — viz., the Liturgy of 
St. Chrysostom, that of St. Basil, and the Liturgy of the 
Presanctified ; 2, the Praxapostolos, so called from its con- 
taining the Acts of the Apostles and their Epistles ; 3, the 
Anagnoseis, or book containing the lessons read from the 
Old Testament ; 4, the Panegyricon, or collection of ser- 
mons for the various festivals of the year (this book is gene- 
rally in manuscript). 

As Dr. Neale very justly remarks in his History of the 
Holy Eastern Church, vol. ii. p. 819, it is next to impossible 
to get any clear idea of the books used by the Oriental 
Church in the service of the altar. Their number is inter- 
minable, and there is nothing but confusion in their service, 
on account of the constant turning backward and forward 
from one book to another in order to find the particular por- 
tion to be read. Add to all this that there is no such thing 

144 The Missal 

known with them as a translation of a feast ; and hence 
when an occurrence 4 of feasts happens all are celebrated 
together, with a jumble of rubrics which it is impossible to 
describe. The Typicon, or Ordo, for the feast of St. George, 
for example, fills about ten pages of a quarto volume, and 
this on account of all the other feasts that occur with it or 
fall on the same day. 


The Nestorians also employ a vast number of service- 
books, but they do not trouble themselves much about ru- 
brics. In the first place, they have what is termed the 
Euanghelion, or book of the Gospels. This they read at 
every Mass. Second, the Sliho (in Syriac, j ^v A or book 
of Epistles, containing nothing but extracts from the 
Epistles of St. Paul. Third, the Karyane (Syriac, ]\ohs 
=koruzo, a preacher, hence the word Koran), which con- 
tains extracts from the Old Testament and from the Acts 
of the Apostles. Fourth, the Turgama (Syriac, }^o~joZ 
=turg?no, interpretation, whence Targum), consisting of a 
variety of hymns chanted responsively around the altar 
by the deacons before the Epistle and Gospel, calling upon 
the people to give ear to the words of the New Testament. 

The Karyane is read by the Karoya, or lector, at the 
altar door, on the south side ; the Sliho, on the north side, 
by the subdeacon ; the celebrant himself reads the Euanghe- 
lion at the middle of the altar. During the reading of all 
these the sacred ministers are facing the congregation. In 
case a Shammasha, or full deacon, is present the onus of 
reading the Gospel devolves on him. The pulpit in which 

« In liturgical language, when two or more feasts fall on the same day there is said 
to be an occurrence of feasts ; when one feast meets another only at Vespers it is said 
to constitute a concurrence. It is well to bear in mind that the ecclesiastical day 
always begins in the evening and ends the evening following. 

Coptic Missat. 145 

the Nestorians formerly read the Sliho was denominated 
Gagolta (same as Golgotha, the name of Mount Calvary), 
from the steps by which it was ascended. 

The Chaldeans * use the same books in divine service, with 
little difference, as the Nestorians (Badger, Nestorians and 
their Rituals, vol. ii. p. 19). This difference touches, of 
course, the Nestorian heresy of holding that there are two 
Persons in our Divine Saviour instead of one. 


All that we know of the Coptic Missal is that it is printed 
throughout in the ancient Coptic language, and that its 
rubrics are in the native Arabic, the language spoken by the 
people ; for, as Dr. Neale very justly remarks, hardly three 
persons can be found in all Cairo (the headquarters of the 
Copts) who can speak the Coptic of the Missal, not except- 
ing even the clergy, and hence the necessity of having the 
rubrics printed in the vernacular. 

• The name Chaldean is generally used in the East as the distinctive appellation of 
all who join our communion from Nestorianism. The Chaldean Catholics, as we have 
said in another place, are governed by a patriarch with the title of " Patriarch of Babp 
lon of the Chaldean Rita." This prelate generally reside* at Bagdad. 


The use of bells in divine service is very ancient. "We 
find mention made of them in the books of Exodus 
and Ecclesiasticus, where they are enumerated among the 
ornaments of the high-priest's ephod, in order that "their 
sound might be heard whenever he goeth in and cometh out 
of the sanctuary." ("We have stated in another place that 
this ancient custom of attaching little bells to the fringes of 
the priestly garments is yet very common in the Eastern 
Church.) Besides these little bells the ancient Hebrews em- 
ployed others of a larger kind, called Megeruphita, which 
used to be sounded by the Levites on certain occasions. Of 
these the Mishna 1 says that when they were struck their 
noise was so deafening that you could not hear a person speak 
in all Jerusalem. They were sounded principally for three 
purposes : First, to summon the priests to service ; secondly, 
to summon the choir of Levites to sing ; thirdly, to invite 
the stationary-men to bring the unclean to the gate called 
Nicanor (Bannister, Temples of the Hebrews, p. 101). The 
Mishna further states that when these megeruphita were 
sounded to their full capacity they could be heard at Jeri- 
cho, eighteen miles from Jerusalem. 

For the first three or four centuries of the Christian 

1 The Mishna, or oral law of the Jews, consists of various traditions respecting the 
law of Moses. The Mishna and Gemara (or commentary on the Mishna) form what is 
called the Talmud, of which there are two kinds— viz., that of Jerusalem and that of 
Babylon. The latter is held to be the greater of the two. 


Ancient Substitute for Bells, 147 

Church's existence the faithful were compelled to assemble 
at divine service with as little noise as possible, for fear of 
attracting the attention of their pagan enemies, and thus 
bringing about fresh persecution ; hence we must not ex- 
pect to find bells in use during those days. 

According to Polydore Virgil it was Pope Sabinian (sev- 
enth century), the immediate successor of Pope Gregory the 
Great, who first introduced the practice of ringing bells at 
Mass (Bona, Ber. Liturg., 259). The same thing is corrobo- 
rated by Onuphrius Panvinius, who, when writing of this 
pontiff, says : " Hie Papa campanarum usum invenit, jus- 
si tque ut ad horas canonicas, et Missarum sacrificia pulsaren- 
tur in ecclesia " — that is, " This pontiff introduced the use of 
bells, and ordained that they be rung in the church at the 
canonical hours and during the Sacrifice of the Mass." 
The usual ascription of the introduction of bells to St. 
Paulinus of Nola stands upon little or no foundation. 

The name campance, sometimes given to bells, from Cam- 
pana, in Italy, where large quantities of them were made, 
generally denotes the larger kind, and nolce (also from an 
Italian town) the smaller kind. Small bells went generally 
by the name of tintinnabula, from their peculiar tinkling 


Before the use of bells had become general in the Church 
it was customary to employ in their stead signal or sound- 
ing boards, called semantro7is, which used to be struck with 
a mallet of hard wood. These are yet in use in most of the 
Oriental churches, especially in those within the Turkish 
dominions ; for it is the belief of the followers of the Koran 
that the ringing of regular bells disquiets the souls of the 
departed dead. Hence it is considered a great privilege in 
the East, wherever Mahometanism prevails, to be allowed 

148 Bells. 

the use of bells in divine service, and but few churches 
enjoy it. Ali Pasha, in order to conciliate his Christian 
subjects and win their esteem, granted the privilege to the 
churches of Joannina, capital of Albania (Neale, Holy East- 
ern Church, i. p. 216). They were also allowed at Argen- 
tiera, or Khimoli, in the Archipelago (ibid.) ; and of late 
their use was extended to the Church of the Holy Se- 
pulchre at Jerusalem, where the sound of a bell had not 
been heard since the time of the Crusades. 

Of the semantrons there were two kinds, one made of 
wood, the other of iron. The former consisted for the 
most part of a long piece of hard, well-planed timber, 
usually of the heart of maple, of from ten to twelve feet 
in length, a foot and a half in breadth, and about nine 
inches thick. In the centre of this piece of wood was a catch 
in which to insert the hand while striking with the mallet. 
Persons who have heard these semantrons assure us that 
the noise they make when struck by this mallet is perfectly 
deafening. The sound emitted by the semantrons called 
hagiosidera (because made of iron) is generally very musi- 
cal, and consequently less grating on the ear than that 
produced by those made of wood. These hagiosidera are 
generally shaped like a crescent, and their sound differs 
little from that of a Chinese gong. They are much in 
use in the East. 

With the Syrians the semantron is held in the greatest 
veneration, for the reason that a tradition of long standing 
among them ascribes its invention to Noe, who, according 
to them, was thus addressed by Almighty God on the eve of 
the building of the ark : " Make for yourself a bell of box- 
wood, which is not liable to corruption, three cubits long and 
one and a half wide, and also a mallet from the same wood. 
Strike this instrument three separate times every day : 
once in the morning to summon the hands to the ark, 

Ancient Substitute for Bells. 149 

once at midday to call them to dinner, and once in the 
evening to invite them to rest." The Syrians strike their 
semantrons when the Divine Office is going to begin and 
when it is time to summon the people to public prayer 
(Lamy, Be Fide Syrorum et Discip. in re Eucharistice). 
The peculiar symbolism attached to this "Holy Wood," 
as the semantron is often denominated, is, to say the 
least, very significant and touching. The sound of the 
wood, for instance, recalls to mind the fact that it was 
the wood of the Garden of Eden which caused Adam to 
fall when he plucked its fruit contrary to the command of 
God ; now the same sound recalls another great event to 
mind — viz., the noise made in nailing to the wood of the 
cross the Saviour of the world who came to atone for 
Adam's transgression. This idea is beautifully expressed 
in the "Preface of the Cross." 

That the Nestorians use bells in their service we are in- 
formed by Smith and Dwight (Researches in Armenia, ii. 
p. 261), who, though rather dangerous to follow on account 
of their narrow-minded bigotry, yet may be relied on when 
treating of subjects which do not excite their prejudices. 
They tell us that when the small bell is sounded the people 
cross themselves and bow their heads a minute or two in 
silent adoration. This is, very likely, at the Elevation. 

With the Armenians there is an almost incessant ringing 
of bells during Mass. These bells are for the most part en- 
trusted to the custody of deacons, who carry them attached 
to the circumference of circular plates held in the hand by 
long handles. Large bells suspended from the domes of 
their churches are also employed (ibid. ii. p. 101). 

The Abyssmians, or Ethiopians, ring large bells during 
the elevation of the Sacred Species. 

According to Goar (Euchol., p. 560), bells were not used 
by the Oriental Church before the end of the ninth century, 

150 Bells. 

when TTrso, Doge of Venice, sent twelve as a present to the 
Emperor Michael, who afterwards placed them in the cam- 
panile of the Church of Holy Wisdom at Constantinople 
(Bona, p. 259). 

At Mount Athos — called in the East the " Holy Moun- 
tain," from the vast number of its monasteries — bells are 
very much in vogue. The Monastery of St. Elias, on the 
island of Crete, has some of rare excellence ; and that they 
are held in general esteem by the Cretans themselves may 
be inferred from one of their ancient ballads, a stanza of 
which runs thus (Neale, 216) : 

" It was a Sunday morning, 

And the bells were chiming free 
To welcome in the Easter 
At Hagio Kostandi." a 

The attachment of the Kussians to bells is known the 
world over. Every church in the Kremlin 3 is loaded with 
them ; and they are of such enormous size that several men 
are required to ring one of them. The great tower of Ivan 
Veliki has as many as thirty-three, among which is the 
famous bell of Novgorod, whose sound ubed to call people 
together from very distant parts. This immense bell is, 
however, but a hand-bell in comparison to the great monster 
bell of the world, known as " Ivan Veliki," or Big John, of 
Moscow, for which no belfry could be built strong enough. 
It weighs 216 tons — that is, 432,000 pounds. It is yet on ex- 
hibition in the Kremlin, where for years past it has been 

'The words "Hagio Kostandi" refer to Constantinople— i.e., the Holy City of 

• As there is nothing more contemptible than pedantry, we follow general custom 
in spelling this word as it 18 spelled here, although we know it is properly spelled 
Kreml, which in Arabic means a fortified place. The Kremlin at Moscow is two 
miles in circumference, and contams a vast number of magnificent churches ; that of 
the Assumption ib where the r^rs are always crowned. 

Bells silent in Holy Week. 151 

serving as a chapel, the people entering through the large 
crack made in its side when in process of casting (Koma- 
noif, Rites and Customs of the Greco-Russian Church, p. 
259 ; Porter's Travels^ p. 163 ; Encyclopedia Britannica, 
art. "Bell"). 4 


Some writers have asserted, but altogether gratuitously, 
that during the days of persecution the faithful were sum- 
moned to divine service by the sound of those boards called 
semantrons, of which we have been speaking ; but a moment's 
reflection will convince us that this cannot be true, for it is 
well known that in those times of trouble the utmost care 
had to be taken in order that the gatherings of the faithful 
might be entirely private, lest the pagans, hearing of them, 
might make them a pretext for new persecution. It is 
false, then, to assert that any public signal was given for 
gathering together the Christians, but rather that they were 
assembled by some secret signs known among themselves, or 
carried from one quarter to another by specially-deputed 
persons. This is the view taken by Cardinal Bona (see Rer. 
Liturg., p. 259), by Baronius, and many other eminent 
writers. We have stated already that semantrons were used 
instead of bells in the early days, but by early days we 
meant not the days of persecution, but only those which 
followed closely upon the age of Constantine the Great. 


As there is a mixture more or less of joy and solemnity in 
the ringing of bells, it has been customary from time imme- 

* The largest bells in the world in actual use are : the second Moscow hell, which 
weighs 128 tons ; the Kaiserglocke of Cologne Cathedral, 25 tons ; the great hell of 
Pekin, 53 tons ; the bell of Notre Dame, 17 tons ; Big Ben of Westminster, 14 tons ; 
Tom of Lincoln, 5 tons. 

152 Bells. 

morial to suspend their use during the last days of Holy 
Week, when the entire Church is in mourning for the 
Passion and death of our Divine Saviour. Hence it is that 
in many ancient documents this week is called the " Still 
Week"; in others, the "Week of Suffering." The bells 
are silent from the " Gloria in excelsis " in the Mass of Holy 
Thursday until the " Gloria " on Holy Saturday, when a 
joyful and solemn peal is rung in memory of the glorious 
resurrection of our Saviour. During the silence of the bells 
little wooden clappers are used after the manner of the 
ancient semantrons, and are rung at all those parts of the 
Mass, such as at the " Sanctus," Elevation, Communion, 
etc., at which the usual bell would be sounded. 

According to Pope Benedict XIV. (De Festis, No. 174), 
bells are silent this week for the mystic reason that they 
typify the preachers of the word of God, and all preaching 
was suspended from our Lord's apprehension until after he 
had risen from the dead. The apostles, too, when they saw 
his bitter torments, and the indignities he was subjected 
to by the Jews, stole away from him silently and left him 
alone. Durandus gives many more mystic reasons for the 
silence observed these three days (Rationale, p. 512). 

The reader will do well to bear in mind that inasmuch as 
the divine offices of Holy Week have a greater antiquity 
than any others within the annual cycle, they bear the Im- 
press yet of many early liturgical customs, all of which, as 
we have taken care to note elsewhere, the Church clings to 
with fond tenacity. 



For the valid consecration of the Holy Eucharist bread 
made of wheat (panis triticeus), and no other, must be em- 
ployed. According to the discipline of the Latin Church, 
this bread must be unleavened, must have nothing temper- 
ing or mixing it but water, and must be baked after the 
manner of ordinary bread, and not stewed, fried, or boiled. 


No question has given rise to more warm dispute than 
that which touches the use of leavened or unleavened bread 
in the preparation of the Holy Eucharist. Cardinal Bona 
tells us in his wonted modest way what a storm of indig- 
nation he brought down upon himself when he stated in 
his great work on the Mass and its ceremonies that the 
use of leavened and unleavened bread was common in the 
Latin Church until the beginning of the tenth century, 
when unleavened bread became obligatory on all. "We shall 
not now go over the ground which the learned cardinal 
did to prove this assertion, but we shall simply say for the 
instruction of the reader that his opinion is embraced by 
almost all writers on sacred liturgy. That the use of un- 
leavened bread, or azymes, was never intermitted in the 
Latin Church from the very institution of the Blessed 
Eucharist itself all are willing to admit ; but it is very 
commonly held that when the Ebionite heretics taught 


154 Bread used for Consecration, 

that the precepts of the ancient law were binding upon 
Christian people, and that, in consequence, the Eucharist 
could not be celebrated at all unless the bread our Lord used 
— viz., unleavened — were employed, the Church also sanc- 
tioned the use of leavened bread to confound this teaching, 
and that this remained in force until all traces of the Ebio- 
nites had died away. This statement has for its supporters 
several eminent theologians, among whom are Alexander of 
Hales, Duns Scotus, St. Bonaventure, and St. Thomas Aqui- 
nas (see Cardinal Bona, Rer. Liturg., lib. i. cap. xxiii. ; 
Kozma, 238 ; Neale, Holy Eastern Church, " On the Con- 
troversy concerning the Azymes," vol. ii.) 

In so far as the validity of the sacrament is concerned, 
both the Latin and Greek churches have always held that 
consecration takes place in either kind, and that the use of 
leavened or unleavened bread is altogether a matter of dis- 
cipline and not of dogma. The latter Church, too, acknow- 
ledges (at least the ancient Greek Church did), equally with 
the former, that our Lord used unleavened bread at the Last 
Supper, but that for very wise reasons the early Church 
thought well to introduce leavened bread, and that when 
itself (i.e., the Greek Church) adopted this custom it held 
on to it without change (Neale, ii. 1059, and 1073-34). It 
must not be concealed that the turbulent Michael Cerula- 
lius, Patriarch of Constantinople in 1043, in order to make 
the rupture between the two churches as great as possible, 
went so far as to assert that consecration in any other bread 
but leavened was invalid, and that hence the whole Latin 
Church was heretical because it used unleavened. But the 
Eastern theologians never adopted this teaching ; nor is it 
held to-day, although, with the exception of the Armenians 
and Maronites, all the Oriental churches follow the Greek 
discipline in the use of leavened bread. 

We have said that, according to the consent of both 

Devices used in Stamping the Bread. 155 

churches, consecration is valid in either kind; the disci- 
pline, however, of the Latin Church is so strict in the mat- 
ter of unleavened bread that, were a priest of her com- 
munion to consecrate m any other kind without a special 
dispensation, he would sin mortally. He could not even 
do so were it to fulfil the precept of hearing Mass on Sun- 
day or give the Holy Viaticum to the dying. The only case 
in which it is allowed is when, through some accident or 
other, the Sacred Host disappears immediately after conse- 
cration, and no other bread is at hand but leavened. The 
latter may then be used in order to the completion of the 
Sacrifice (De Herdt, ii. p. 167, No. 3). 


The breads for the use of the altar are baked between 
heated irons upon which is stamped some pious device, 
such as the Crucifixion, the Lamb of God, or a simple cross. 
The instrument used for this purpose somewhat resembles a 
large forceps in appearance. It has two long handles, and 
at its extremities is a pair of circular heads, one overlap- 
ping the other. After this instrument has been sufficiently 
heated in the fire a little lard or butter is rubbed over its 
surface to keep the paste from adhering. A thin coating of 
this paste is then spread over the surface of the under disc, 
and the upper one being allowed to rest on it a moment or 
two, it is taken out perfectly baked. The irons are then 
separated, and the bread is taken out and trimmed for use. 


At the present day there is no particular device pre- 
scribed to be impressed upon the altar-breads. Every 
church is allowed to abound in its own choice in this re- 
spect. In some places a representation of our Lord cruci- 

156 Bread used for Consecration, 

fied is the impression; in others the "Agnus Dei." We 
have also seen breads upon which the first and last letters of 
the Greek alphabet were stamped, in allusion to our Lord's 
saying in the Apocalypse, "I am Alpha and Omega, the firsi 
and the last, the beginning and the end." The most gene- 
ral device, however, is, as we believe, the ancient and 
sacred monogram "IHS," or, as it was formerly written, 
"IHC." As to the precise interpretation of this "IHS" 
there has been much dispute; some contending that it 
means (at least that its letters are the initials of) "Jesus 
Hominum Salvator" — Jesus, the Saviour of Men — others 
that they are the initials of " I Have Suffered." Other in- 
terpretations are given of them which we do not deem ne- 
cessary to state. The truth, however, is that they are the 
three first letters of our Lord's sacred name in Greek, viz., 
IH20T2, and that as such they were very commonly em- 
ployed as a sacred device on the Christian tombs during the 
days of persecution. They are yet to be seen inscribed in 
many places in the Roman catacombs (see Justorum Semita ; 
or, The Holydays of the English Church, p. 335 ; Holy Name 
of Jesus; also, Dublin Review, vol. xliv., 1858, art. "Pri- 
macy of St. Peter"). 

The interpretation "Jesus, the Saviour of Men" first 
originated with St. Bernardine of Sienna, in 1443, and was 
brought about in this way : The saint, it seems, had oc- 
casion to reprove a certain man for selling cards with dan- 
gerous devices impressed upon them. The man tried to de- 
fend his cause by saying that he could not earn a living in 
any other manner, but that if Saint Bernardine offered a 
device instead of those he himself used, and assured him 
that he would not be a loser in adopting it, he would 
at once abandon those he had ; whereupon the saint re- 
commended the letters "IHS," telling the man that they 
stood for " Jesus Hominum Salvator." They were at once 

By whom the Breads are Made. 15T 

adopted, and their success was complete (see Gleanings foi 
the Curious, by 0. C. Bombaugh, A.M., pp. 98, 99). 


Although it would be more proper that the breads for 
altar purposes should be made by the sacred ministers them- 
selves, yet, as the modern way of making and preparing 
them for use is open to no abuse, the duty is often entrusted 
to pious members of the congregation — for the most part to 
the Sisters who may be attached to any particular church. 

In ancient times it was considered a great honor to be 
allowed to make these breads, and we find some of the nobles 
of the land offering their services for this pious work. It is 
related of St. Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia (tenth century), 
that he used to sow the wheat in the field with his own 
Lands, cut it down afterwards when ripe, winnow it himself, 
grind it into flour, and finally make it into bread for the use 
of the Holy Sacrifice (Martene, De Antiquis Eccl. Ritibus, 
f. 13 ; Lives of the Saints, September 28). A similar story 
is related of St. Radegunde, Queen of France, in the sixth 

In the good old days of Catholic England the synodical 
decrees relating to the making of the altar-bread were very 
strict, as the following will show : " We also command that 
the ofletes ■ which in the Holy Mystery ye offer to God ye 
either bake yourselves or your servants before you, that ye 
may know that it is neatly and cleanly done " (Dr. Rock, 
Church of Our Fathers, vol. i. p. 156, note). The Bishop 
of Lincoln (thirteenth century) thus addressed the clergy 

1 This was the Anglo-Saxon name for the altar-bread. It was also called obUy 
(evidently from the Latin dblata) and " singing-bread. 1 ' Dr. Rock conjectures that the 
latter name must have been given it from the fact that it was used at High Mass ; but 
we venture to say that it was so named because during its preparation a constant singing 
of psalms and hymns was kept up, which, as we shall see, is yet the practice in the 

158 Bread used for Consecration. 

of his diocese : " More care than ordinary must be taken 
to see that the ofletes be made of pure wheat. While the 
work of preparing them is going on the ministers of the 
church who make them ought to sit in a decent place and 
be dressed in surplices. The instrument for baking these 
ofletes ought to be anointed with wax only, not with oil 01 
any greasy material " {ibid.) 


Up to the eleventh century the custom was almost gene- 
ral of communicating the people from particles of the large 
Host which the priest used ; hence this must have been of 
far greater proportions than it is now (Kozma, 239). When 
the custom of thus communicating the people ceased, small 
Hosts were introduced, which still bore the name of parti- 
cles, and the priest's Host became smaller in size. 


From time immemorial it has been customary to have the 
Host, or altar-bread, of a circular form. This can be traced 
as far back at least as the third century, for Pope Zephy- 
rinus, who died a.d. 217, calls the bread a " crown of 
a spherical figure " — Corona sive oblata sphericce figures 
(Benedict XIV., c. 5). Severus of Alexandria, styled the 
" Christian Sallust," who flourished in the fourth century, 
calls it simply the " circle" (Martene, De Antiquis Ecclesim 
Ritibus, 14). According to Duranclus, who is never at a 
loss for a mystical meaning, the bread is circular, in the 
shape of a coin, to remind us that the true Bread of Life, 
our Divine Redeemer, was sold by Judas for thirty pieces of 
silver {Rationale Divinorum, p. 256). 


It is Tery generally known that the entire Eastern Church, 

Ceremonies attending the Making of Altar-Bread, 159 

with the sole exception of the Armenians and Maronites, 
uses leavened bread in the preparation of the Holy Eucha- 
rist. Whether it has kept up this practice from the begin- 
ning or not we leave others to settle. Some are of opin- 
ion that it has, and others, for very weighty reasons, say 
that it has not ; but the point is one of small consequence 
so long as all agree in admitting that consecration takes 
place, no matter which of the two kinds is used. 

According to Pococke {Travels in Egypt), the Copts also 
use unleavened bread ; but this is certainly a mistake, for 
no author that we have seen makes such an assertion. Ii 
this were the case, Renaudot, who describes the Coptic cere- 
monies and customs most minutely, would certainly have 
made mention of it, or it would be referred to by Denzinger 
in his Ritus Orientalium. 

Brerewood, in that hodge-podge entitled Enquiries 
touching the Diversity of Languages and Religions, Lon- 
don, 1674, asserts that the Abyssinian s do the same— 
ue. 9 consecrate in unleavened bread. But as this author 
paid little or no attention to what he said, and took his in- 
formation, in most cases, second hand, little reliance is to 
be placed on any statement that he makes which does not 
square with what has been said by approved authorities. 
He says also that Thecla Haimonout, an Abyssinian priest, 
stated that they celebrate ordinarily in leavened bread, but 
that they use unleavened on Holy Thursday (p. 203). This 
may have been done at one time, but it is not now. 


The respect manifested by the Orientals even for the un- 
consecrated bread, to say nothing of the Holy Eucharist 
itself, is worthy of all admiration. And to begin with the 
Copts, of whom we have been sneaking : So verv particular 

160 Bread used for Consecration. 

are they about the sacrificial bread that they deem it pro- 
fane to purchase the grain used in making it with any other 
money than that which has been set aside for church pur- 
poses. The wheat, too, when made into flour, must always 
be kept in the church, where is also the oven in which the 
breads are baked. During the process of making these 
breads a constant chanting of psalms is kept up by the 
clerics to whom the work is entrusted, and the whole thing 
is looked upon as a sacred duty (Pococke, Travels in Egypt). 
Their discipline requires that the bread be new, fresh, and 
pure ; in fact, according to their canons, that of yesterday's 
making could not be used in saying Mass to-day, but newly- 
made bread must be offered — i.e., bread made the same 
morning that Mass is said. On no account must this be 
made by a female. A violation of this rule would subject 
the offender to excommunication. " It is meet," says one 
of their constitutional^ laws, " that the Eucharist ic bread 
should be baked nowhere else but in the oven of the church. 
Let not a female knead it or bake it. He who acts con- 
trary to this, let him be anathema" (Kenaudot, Liturg. 
Oriental. Coll., i. p. 172). 

The Syrian bread, called Xatha, is made of the finest and 
purest flour, and is tempered with water, oil of olives, salt, 
and leaven. They defend the use of oil in making it by 
saying that it is merely employed in order that the paste 
may not adhere to the hands. The entire operation is car- 
ried on within the church by a priest or deacon ; it is wholly 
forbidden to entrust its preparation to any one not in sa- 
cred orders (ibid. ; and Lamy, De Fide Syrorum et Discip. 
in re Eucharist ice). One of the Syrian canons on this head 
runs as follows : " Let the priest or deacon who prepares 
the bread of oblation take care to have the mould clean, 
and to have a vessel for the purpose of straining the water 
and oil ; he must be careful not to let it be handled by a 

Bread used by the Greek Church. 


lay person. Besides this, he must have his loins girt, shoes 
on his feet, be turned towards the east, and have his face 
veiled with an amice. Psalms must accompany this minis- 
try" (Lamy, ibid.) 

The discipline of the Armenians also requires that the 
bread be made by the sacred ministers. Their bread is un- 
leavened, like ours. 


The bread used by the Greeks is round, like a large 
griddle-cake, and rising from its surface is a square pro- 
jection denominated the Holy Lamb, which, when cut off 



Holt Lance. 

afterwards by the Holy Lance, becomes, properly speaking, 
the sacrificial Host. What remains of the loaf when the 
square projection has been taken away is divided into seve- 
ral small particles, which are arranged in groups and dedi- 
cated to the Blessed Virgin, the apostles, saints, and mar- 
tyrs, as well as the living 
and the dead (Goar, Eu- 
chol. Grcec,, p. 116 ; Prim- 
itive Liturgies, pp. 120 and 
183, by Neale and Little- 
dale). The square projec- 
tion itself is divided into 

four equal portions after 

_, . Host op the Greeks. 

consecration. When cut- 
ting off the Holy Lamb from the large loaf the Greek 

162 Bread used for Consecration. 

priest says, as he inserts the lance in the right side of the 
seal (that is, the impression stamped upon the bread), 
"He was led as a sheep to the slaughter"; when insert- 
ing it into the left, "And as a blameless lamb dumb 
before his shearers, he opened not his mouth." Inserting 
it into the upper part, he says, " In his humiliation his 
judgment was taken away"; into the lower, "And who 
shall declare his generation ? " The deacon says at each 
incision, "Let us make our supplications to the Lord." 
By the quadrangular form of the holy bread the Greeks 
intend to signify that Christ our Lord suffered for the four 
quarters of the globe (Martene, De Antiquis Eccl. Ritibus, 
I 15). 


Considerable diversity exists in the East in relation to the 
devices employed in stamping the altar-bread. The Syrians 
use only a number of small crosses ; the Nestorians the 
same. The Coptic Host has upon one side, " A'yioS, 
A'yioty A r 'yioS, KvpwS ^aftecoS " — that is, Holy, Holy, 
Holy, Lord of Hosts; and upon the other, "A"yioZ 
lGX v Po*" — Holy Strong One. The latter is part of the 
famous Trisagion which the Eastern Church employs in 
every day's service, but which the Latin Church only re- 
peats once a year, in the Mass of Good Friday. This sacred 
iiymn has a peculiar and interesting history attached to it. 
In the time of Theodosius the Younger, a.d. 446, Constan- 
tinople was threatened by so dreadful an earthquake that 
all believed the end of the world at hand. The wildest con- 
fusion reigned throughout the city as the first signs of this 
untoward calamity manifested themselves. Men, women, 
and children ran frantic through the streets, and the utmost 
consternation was depicted on every countenance. In this 

Inscriptions impressed on the Holy Bread. 163 

dreadful juncture Theodosius addressed a petition to St. 
Proclus, archbishop of the imperial city, earnestly beseech- 
ing him to ask of Almighty God to avert the impending 
calamity. The saintly man acceded at once to the emperor's 
wishes. He according- 
ly formed a procession 
of all his clergy and 
people, and, with the 
attendance of all the 
members of the royal 
court, marched a little 
outside the city, and 
then knelt down with 
the entire multitude 
in solemn and earnest 
prayer. They had not 
been kneeling long 
when, to the great 
astonishment of all, a child was seen in the clouds above 
them, moving from one place to another, and singing loud 
enough to be heard by the spectators. After the lapse 
of about an hour the child descended, singing, "A"yioS 
IffXvpoS, A n yioS 6 ®sd$, jCyioS ASavaroS, eXerfaov 
fa&s"— that is, Holy Strong One, Holy God, Holy Im- 
mortal One, have mercy on us ! Upon being questioned as 
to the object of this singing, the child replied that he had 
heard the angelic choir sing this sacred anthem at the 
throne of God, and that if the people wished to avert the 
terrors of the earthquake they should sing it also. It was 
taken up at once, and tranquillity was restored (Goar, Eu- 
: chol. GrcBcorum, p. 126 ; Neale, Holy Eastern Church, i. p. 
367). The emperor afterwards issued a decree causing it to 
be universally adopted, and it is said that St. Proclus had 
it inserted in the liturgies of Constantinople (Ferraris, 

Host op the Copts. 

164 Bread used for Consecration. 

BibliotJieca ; Butler's Lives of the Saints, Oct. 24, St. Pro* 

The small crosses that appear on the face of the Coptic 
bread are in memory, it is said, of a celebrated discourse of 
St. John Chrysostom on the divinity of our Lord, in which 
Jhe word cross appears several times. Martene tells us that 
the seals used by the Oriental patriarchs for stamping tlu 
altar-bread differ much from those used by the priests. The 
inscription on the Greek Host— viz., "IX. NIKA"— -is trans- 
lated "Jesus Christ conquers." 



I? we except the Aquarians alone, who said that water 
may be employed instead of wine in the consecration of the 
chalice, no dispute has ever arisen upon this subject ; all are 
at one in holding that for the valid consecration of this 
species the juice of the grape (vinum de vite) is necessary. 
Nor does it matter as to the color of the wine ; some prefer 
red, others white wine, but this is altogether a matter of 
taste. One great advantage that red wine has is this : that 
there is no danger of mistaking it for water, owing to its 
resemblance in color to blood. 


The discipline of the Oriental and the Western Church 
are in perfect agreement regarding the sacrificial wine. An 
abuse, however, exists among the Copts which, though not 
resorted to save in extreme cases, is still deserving of con- 
demnation. We refer to the employment of what is called 
zebib instead of pure juice of the grape. Pococke, in 
his Travels in Egypt, art. " The Religion of the Copts," 
describes the process of making this very doubtful wine 
as follows : " In the Catholic churches they must use 
wine, but in the others they use what they call zebib. 
. . . Zebib is a sort of raisin wine. They put five ro- 
tolas of new grapes to five of water, or more grapes are 
used if they are older. It is left to steep seven days 


166 Wine. 

in winter and four in summer. The deacons strain it 
through two bags, one after another, to make it fine. 
This keeps seven years, and tastes like a sweet wine that 
is turned a little sour. They keep the zebib in a jar, 
and cover it closely so that no wind can come to it." Be 
all this as it may, the canons of the Coptic Church are very 
clear and strong upon the point that no other wine but the 
unadulterated juice of the grape must be used for Mass pur- 
poses ; and so particular are they that this shall be of the 
finest quality that they will allow no one to have anything 
to do with its preparation but the ministers of the altar. 
To this end the grapes are picked with great care, and are 
bruised between the hands in extracting the juice from 
them, instead of being trodden out by the feet, as is the 
custom when the wine is destined for ordinary use. While 
the wine remains in the casks it is considered a mortal 
offence for any one to meddle with it before the quantity 
necessary for altar uses has first been set aside (Renaudot, 
vol. i. pp. 176 and 177). The Copts will not say Mass 
with wine which has been purchased in a store, for the 
reason that it may not be pure (ibid.) 


The wine and water necessary for the Holy Sacrifice are 
kept in two glass vessels termed Cruets. Although it is not 
specially required that they be made of glass, still, for the 
greater convenience of those who have to keep them clean, 
but above all for the advantage Cruets of this material have 
over those which are not transparent, it is better that they 
should ; for accidents of a very serious nature are liable 
to happen unless it can be seen at a glance in which vessel 
the wine is and in which the water. 

In early times these Cruets were often made of the most 
precious materials. Gold, silver, and precious stones fre- 

Cruets. 167 

4uently entered into their composition, and the most elabo- 
rate workmanship was displayed in making them. John of 
Hothum, Bishop of Ely, 1 gave to his church, as a private 
donation, in a.d. 1336, a set of golden Cruets studded with 
rubies and pearls (Church of Our Fathers, by Dr. Rock, 
i. p. 159, note). Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, bequeathed 
in A.D. 1400, to his lord the king, an image of the Blessed 
Virgin, with two cruets, silver and gilt, made in the shape 
of two angels (ibid.) In those good old days the highest 
nobles of the land strove with holy zeal to see how much 
each could do towards beautifying the house of God and 
having the sacred vessels of the altar and sanctuary of the 
most ornate kind. 

1 Ely, an ancient city of Cambridgeshire, England, was once a resort of much not«. 
It is about seventy miles from London. It had a venerable Catholic cathedral in 1107, 
which was 517 feet long, with a tower 270 feet high. 



During the very early days it was entirely at the discre- 
tion of every priest whether he said daily a plurality of 
Masses or not (Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., p. 19). It 
was quite usual to say two Masses, one of the occurring 
feast, the other for the benefit of the faithful departed. A 
plurality of Masses, however, was soon restricted to occasions 
upon which a greater concourse of people than ordinary was 
gathered by reason of some solemnity. Then, in order to 
afford all an opportunity of assisting at the Holy Sacrifice, 
as many Masses as were deemed necessary could be said, and 
these even by the same priest. Pope Leo III. (ninth cen- 
tury), we are told, said as many as nine Masses on a single 
day to meet an exigency of this kind (ibid. p. 19). This 
practice, however, kept gradually falling into desuetude 
until the time of Pope Alexander II. (from a.d. 1061 to 
1073), when that pontiff decreed that no priest should say 
more than one Mass on the same day. The decree was thus 
worded: "It is sufficient for a priest to say one Mass the 
same day, because Christ suffered once and redeemed the 
whole world. The celebration of one Mass is no small mat- 
ter, and very happy is the man who can celebrate one Mass 
worthily" (ibid.) This is the present discipline of the 
Church in this matter. Faculties, however, are granted to 
priests in charge of two churches to say Mass in each church 
on Sunday, in order to give the people an opportunity of 

Christmas Day an Exception. 169 

complying with the precept requiring them to assist on that 
day at the Holy Sacrifice. But under no circumstances can 
more than two be said by the same priest on these occa- 
sions. 1 Permission to duplicate may be also had for one 
church where two Masses are required. 


Christmas day is now the only day of the year upon which 
a plurality of Masses may be said. On this great feast the 
Church extends to every priest the privilege of celebrating 
the Holy Sacrifice three times the same morning, without, 
however, binding him to celebrate any more than one, if he 
does not wish to do so. According to Durandus (Rationale 
Divin., p. 419, No. 17), this privilege was granted by Pope 
Telesphorus, a.d. 142. Liturgical writers assign to these 
three Masses the following mystic meaning : first, the eter- 
nal birth of the Son of God in the bosom of his Father ; 
secondly, his birth in time in the womb of his Immaculate 
Mother ; thirdly, his spiritual birth in the hearts of the 
faithful by a worthy reception of his sacraments, but, above 
all, by the reception of himself in the adorable sacrament 
of the altar (Benedict XIV., De Festis Do?n. Nostr. J. 
Christi, No. 668; Bouvry, Expositio Bubr., i. 437). 

Throughout the kingdom of Aragon, in Spain (includ- 
ing Aragon, Valentia, and Catalonia), also in the king- 
dom of Majorca (a dependency of Aragon), it is allowed 
each secular priest to say two Masses on the 2d of Novem- 
ber, the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, and 
each regular* priest three Masses. This privilege is also 
enjoyed by the Dominicans of the Monastery of St. James 

1 Father Vetromile (Travels in Europe and the Holy Land, p. 171) is our authority 
for saying that the priests attached to the Chapel of Calvary at Jerusalem can say Mass 
there at any hour of the day, and as often as they please. t 

* The term regular is applied to all priests who live together in community. Those 
who live outside of community life are termed seculars. 

170 Number of Masses that a Priest may say. 

at Pampeluna (Benedict XIV., Be Sacrif. Miss®, Romae, 
ex. Congr. de Prop. Fide, an. 1859 editio, p. 139). This 
grant, it is said, was first made either by Pope Julius or 
Pope Paul III., and, though often asked for afterwards by 
persons of note, was never granted to any other country or 
to any place in Spain except those mentioned. For want of 
any very recent information on the subject I am unable tc 
say how far the privilege extends at the present day. A 
movement is on foot, however, to petition the Holy Fa- 
ther for an extension of this privilege to the universal 
Church, in order that as much aid as possible may be 
given to the suffering souls in Purgatory. 


The practice of the Oriental Church regarding the cele- 
bration of Mass is somewhat lax; but in so far as relates 
to the number a single priest may say the same day, if we 
except the Copts, that Church and ours agree. Daily Mass 
is very rare in the East, except among the Papal Catholics 
(as those of our communion are termed), and even in many 
places there is no celebration on Sunday, unless it be one of 
great note. 

According to the Nestorian Ritual, Mass is prescribed for 
every Sunday and Friday and every Church festival through- 
out the year. It is also prescribed every day of the first, 
middle, and last week of Lent, except Good Friday ; dailj 
also the week following Easter. At present, however, Mass 
is restricted to Sundays and principal holydays ; and in some 
places whole weeks pass without a celebration. The Rev. 
Geo. Percy Badger, whom we are quoting, says that on some 
occasions it is the practice for the priest to read the Liturgy, 
omitting the prayer of consecration and other parts of the 
office, after the manner of a Dry Mass. This the Nesto- 

Practice of the Oriental Church, 171 

rians call by the name of d'Sh-heeme, or Simple (Nestorians 
and their Rituals, vol. ii. p. 243). 

Smith and D wight, in their travels through the East, 
were informed by some Nestorian priests that a whole year 
sometimes passes without there being any more than three 
Masses celebrated {Researches in Armenia, vol. ii. p. 230). 
They state, however, that the more devout celebrate very 
regularly, especially during the season of Lent. ' 

According to the discipline of the Armenians, daily Mass 
is enjoined, and is rarely omitted where there is a sufficiency 
of priests (ibid, 103). Neale, however, flatly contradicts 
this in his Holy Eastern Church (vol. i. p. 380, note a), 
where he distinctly states that it is a regulation of the Ar- 
menian Church that the Liturgy is not to be celebrated 
excepting on Saturday and Sunday, and when any great 
festival of our Lord or his Mother occurs. On ordinary 
days, instead of Mass, they recite Tierce, Sext, and None 
of the Divine Office. Neale adds, however, that during 
Lent celebration is more frequent. 

■ The season of Lent is very strictly observed throughout the entire East. In fact, 
it is not merely one Lent they have, but several, and these are kept with all the ancient 
rigor even at the present day. Besides fasting on every Wednesday and Friday of the 
year, the Nestorians fast also for twenty-five days previous to Christmas ; fifteen days 
before the Feast of St. Mary— that is, before the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin ; 
three days before the Feast of the Holy Cross ; three before the Feast of St. John ; 
fifty days before Easter ; and fifty before Pentecost. The fast of Wednesday and Fri- 
day is so strict that no meat is eaten from the evening before until the evening follow- 
ing (Smith and Dwight, Researches in Armenia, ii. 208, 209). The total number of 
fasting days with the Armenians in one year amounts to one hundred and fifty-six 
(ibid. i. p. 156). 

According to Dr. Neale, the fasts in the Greek Church amount to two hundred and 
twenty-six per annum. He further states that during the " Great Fast," as Lent is 
Called, nothing can equal the rigor observed everywhere and by all. The only relaxa- 
tions given are the allowance of more than one meal on Saturday and Sunday, and the 
use of fish on the Feast of the Annunciation. At all other times meat, fish, cheese, 
eggs, butter, oil, and milk are strictly forbidden. So strictly is this " Great Fast " 
kept by old and young that poor men will throw away their only loaf if a drop of oil 
or other forbidden substance should accidentally touch it (Holy Eastern Church, 

11% Number of Masses that a Priest may say. 

In case of a death occurring Mass is never omitted. 
The Armenians say one on the day of burial and one on 
the seventh, fifteenth, and fortieth after death ; also one 
on the anniversary day. This holy practice of praying for 
the dead and saying Mass in their behalf is very com- 
mon throughout the entire East, with schismatics as well 
as Catholics. 

According to Pococke, the liturgioal days of the Copts are 
Sundays and holydays, and the Wednesdays and Fridays of 
the fasting seasons. The same author remarks that, under 
pretext of not being able to obtain grapes from Cairo for 
wine purposes, their priests say they cannot celebrate Mass 
oftener than once a month. These remarks, of course, 
wholly refer to the schismatic Copts and not to the Catho- 
lic. The latter celebjate regularly. 



Until about the beginning of the thirteenth century the 
custom of having several priests unite in offering the same 
Mass was very prevalent on the more solemn festivals of the 
year. The priests who lent their aid on such occasions were 
said to conceleirate — that is, to perform one joint action with 
the regular celebrant of the Mass ; and no matter how great 
their number was, no one ever supposed that more than a 
single Sacrifice was offered (Bona, Rer. Liturg., p. 246). 
Touching this peculiar custom Pope Innocent III., in his 
fourth book on the Mass, chap, xxv., writes as follows : " The 
cardinal priests have been accustomed to stand around the 
Roman Pontiff and celebrate together with him ; and when 
the Sacrifice is ended they receive Communion at his hands, 
signifying thereby that the Apostles who sat at table with 
our Lord received the Eucharist from him ; and in their 
celebrating together it is shown that the Apostles on that 
occasion learned the rite by which this Sacrifice should be 

This custom of concelebrating must have gone into 
desuetude in the early part of the thirteenth century, for 
Durandus, who flourished in a.d. 1260, speaks of it as a 
thing already passed away. The only vestige of it that now 
remains in the Latin Church is to be found in the Mass of 
the ordination of a priest and the consecration of a bishop. 
In the former case the candidate, or ordinandus, as he is 
called, takes up the Mass with the bishop ordaining at the 


174 Concelebration. 

Offertory, and goes on with him to the end, reciting every, 
thing aloud, even the form of consecration of the Host and 
Chalice ; in the latter case the bishop-elect takes up the Mass 
at the very beginning with the bishop consecrating, and fol- 
lows him in everything to the end, except that he does not 
turn with him at any time to the people when saying " Pax 
vobis," "Dominus vobiscum," or "Orate fratres." At the 
Communion he receives part of the Host used by the 
consecrating bishop ; and with him, also, part of the Pre- 
cious Blood, from the same chalice. 

Regarding this Mass of concelebration many curious ques- 
tions are asked ; but as it would be entirely beyond our pur- 
pose to delay in discussing them, we shall give only the 
most important to our readers. This is, Whether the con- 
secration of the bread or wine is to be ascribed to the bishop 
ordaining or to the ordinandus, in case the latter should 
have pronounced the entire form first ? Some theologians 
formerly held that, in order to avoid all scruple on this 
head, the newly-ordained priest ought to recite the words 
of consecration historically (historico modo), and have no 
personal intention of effecting transubstantiation at all. 
According to others, it mattered nothing whether the ordi- 
nandus pronounced the form before the bishop or not ; con- 
secration was in every case to be ascribed to the latter. The 
third opinion is the one accepted to-day — viz., that al- 
though the newly-ordained priest may through haste have 
pronounced the sacred words of institution before the bishop 
ordaining, still the whole thing must be considered as one 
joint moral action, in virtue of which consecration is ef- 
fected only when all parties have pronounced the entire 
form. This is supported by Pope Innocent III. among 
others, and by the great doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas (see 
Pontificale Romanum, by Catalanus, newly edited by Miihl- 
bauer, fascic i. p. 167). 

Oriental Usage in this Matter, 175 

All are at one in saying that the newly-ordained priest 
really offers a true sacrifice on this occasion, and that hence 
he must have the intention of consecrating the same bread 
and wine with the bishop (Benedict XIV., sect. 2, No. 142; 
Bouvry, ii. 493, q. 4). 


The ancient custom of concelebrating is yet in use with 
nearly all the Oriental churches. Wherever the Greek rite 
prevails it is strictly observed ; and Badger tells us that it 
is common with the Nestorians (Nestorians and their Ritu- 
als, i. p. 286). That the custom is also in vogue with the 
Maronites we see from their liturgy and liturgical customs. 
G-oar tells us (Euchol., p. 299) that whenever the patriarch 
celebrates a Mass of this kind he is attended by several 
bishops and priests, who celebrate and communicate with 
him. When the bishop is the celebrant all the priests who 
are present assist him, and the same is done when the cele- 
brant is a protopope. 1 All this, however, applies only to 
the greater festivals of the year ; on ordinary occasions this 
display is dispensed with. 

1 A protopope in the Eastern Church is nearly the same as our archdeacon, 
precise jurisdiction is the same as that of the ancient chorepiscopus, or rural bishop 




Whether in imitation of the high-priest of the old law, 
who always celebrated barefooted, or through profound re- 
spect for the Holy Eucharist, there were some in times past 
who used to say Mass in their naked feet. This was the 
practice of certain monks of Egypt until forbidden by the 
Holy See (Cassianus, Institute lib. i. cap. vi.) It is never 
allowed by the existing order of things to celebrate bare- 
footed ; the rubric distinctly says that the priest must have 
shoes on (pedibus calceatus). 

With the Nestorians, however, the case is very different ; 
for, according to them, it is considered a great offence to say 
Mass with the feet covered. They require them to be en- 
tirely bare from beginning to end, as an evidence of deep 
respect towards the Blessed Sacrament (see, among others, 
Smith and Dwight, ii. 229). According to Burder (Reli- 
gious Ceremonies and Customs, p. 180), the Armenian clergy, 
when assisting in choir, never wear anything on the feet, 
but the celebrant of the Mass always wears a light black 

Ancient Rules regarding the Color of the Shoes worn at 
Mass. — Although bishops in the early days could wear any 
color they pleased in what was termed their sandals, yet 
for priests and those of the lower order of clergy black was 
always prescribed. The Council of Exeter, held in a.d. 


Mass must be Celebrated Fasting. 17? 

1287, ordained that the clergy should wear no other than 
black boots ; and in a council held in London in 1342 it 
was enacted that they should not wear green or scarlet leg- 
gings. Bishop Waneflete, in the statutes he drew up for his 
college at Oxford, strictly forbade the use of a low kind of 
shoe called high-lows ; also red peaked boots, and every- 
thing of that kind which was not suitable to the priestly 
state and the holy canons (Dr. Eock, Church of Our Fathers, 
ii. 244). 

At the adoration of the cross on Good Friday the sacred 
ministers doff their shoes out of respect. The Komans, we 
are told, walked barefooted at the funeral of Augustus, in 
testimony of the great respect that should be paid such a 


According to Cardinal Bona (Rer. Liturg., p. 255), the 
practice of celebrating fasting is of apostolic origin, and was 
always strictly observed in the early Church. St. Augus- 
tine says that, out of respect for the Holy Eucharist, we 
should partake of no food whatever before communicating. 
To this rule there was, however, one signal and special 
exception in ancient times — viz., in case of the Mass cele- 
brated on Holy Thursday. On this day, in memory of the 
Last Supper, it was customary for some years, at least in 
Africa, to celebrate after having taken food. The decree 
regulating this discipline, and issued by the Council of 
Carthage in A. p. 397, was thus worded : "The sacrament 
of the altar must not be celebrated unless by those who are 
fasting ; an exception, however, is made on the anniver- 
sary upon which the Lord's Supper was instituted " (ibid, ) 
Some claimed an exception, also, in case of Masses for the 
dead, but the practice gained but little favor. To-day the 
rule enjoining fast is of universal obligation, and admits 

178 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass. 

of no relaxation, except in one or two special cases — viz., 
where an accident should befall a priest after consecration, 
rendering him unable to go on any further, and there is 
no other priest at hand to complete the Sacrifice but one 
who has already broken his fast. Some theologians make 
another exception in the case where people had been de- 
prived of Mass for a long time, and could not, on account 
of their great distance from church, be early enough for the 
regular Mass. But as such things rarely happen, they are 
hardly exceptions to the universal rule. 

Practice of the Eastern Church in this respect. — We have 
said in another place that the Copts will say Mass any time 
of the day or night, whether fasting or not, in order to give 
Holy Viaticum to the dying, as they do not reserve the 
Blessed Sacrament. This, however, must be considered a 
solitary case, for the discipline of all the Oriental churches 
in this matter is precisely the same as our own. 

According to many of the Coptic and Ethiopic discipli- 
nary canons, the priest who is to say Mass must be fasting 
from the previous evening, and must not even take a glass 
of wine before he has celebrated (Denzinger, Ritus Orien- 
talium, p. 66 ; Renaudot, Liturg. Oriental., i. 268). So 
fearful are they of violating this sacred law that it is quite 
common to find a priest taking up quarters in the sacristy 
ihe previous day, and remaining there, secluded from all 
danger of breaking the fast, until Mass has been celebrated. 


On account of the profound respect that is due to our 
Lord in the Holy Sacrament of the altar, as well as to 
signify that interior purity of heart which we should always 
possess when celebrating the tremendous Sacrifice of the 
new law, it is of strict obligation that the priest should 

Washing of the Hands. 179 

wash his hands immediately before donning the sacred 
vestments. All are unanimous in saying that this practice 
is as old as the Christian Church itself. While perform- 
ing this ablution the priest recites the following prayer : 
" Grant, Lord ! such virtue to my hands that they may be 
cleansed from every stain, to the end that I may serve thee 
without defilement of mind or body." 

In early times not only was the priest who was to say 
Mass required to wash his hands, but also every mem- 
ber of the congregation as he entered the sacred edifice. 
For which reason there used to be placed at the entrance 
of all the ancient churches fonts filled with water (Riddle, 
Christian Antiquities, p. 739). These fonts were some- 
times elaborately finished, and inscriptions of a pious nature 
were engraved upon them. The celebrated Church of Holy 
Wisdom (Sancta Sophia) at Constantinople had an inscrip- 
tion on its font which read the same way backwards and 
forwards. It was printed in Greek characters, thus : 
is, " Wash away your sins, and not your countenance only" 
(Neale, i. 215). In the Oriental Church the ablution of 
the hands is performed after haA 7 ing vested, and not before 
as with us. On such occasions the Oriental priests recite 
the psalm " Lavabo inter innocentes." 

Whenever a bishop celebrates he washes, according to our 
rite, four different times : the first before vesting ; the 
second, after he has read the Offertorium ; the third, after 
the Offertory ; and the fourth time, after Communion. 

After the priest has washed his hands he goes to prepare 
the chalice by first placing upon it a clean purificator, over 
which he also places the paten with a large Host resting 
upon it, and over this the pall. He then covers all with 
the chalice veil, and rests the burse with the corporal in 
it on the top. The chalice is then said to be dressed. 

180 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass* 

The priest proceeds now to vest himself, putting on each 
article in the order which we have described already, and 
with the same ceremonies. This is done in the sacristy ; 
but should the celebrant be a bishop, he always vests at 
the altar. 1 

Having put on all the sacred vestments, he takes the 
chalice in his hands and proceeds to the altar with a solemn, 
dignified gait ; and, to show the great importance of the work 
he is about to engage in, he must salute no one as he passes 
along, unless the person be some great dignitary, and then 
only by a moderate bow of the head. We have a remarkable 
precedent for this in the solemn discourse made by our Lord 
to his disciples when sending them to preach the Gospel ; he 
commanded them to "salute no man by the way" (Luke 
x. 4). 

When the priest has arrived in front of the altar he takes 
off his cap, or berretta, and having made a low bow to the 
crucifix, or a genuflection if the Blessed Sacrament be in the 
tabernacle, he ascends the steps, and, having spread out the 
corporal in the middle of the altar, places the chalice with its 
appurtenances on it. (At Solemn High Mass the chalice is 
not brought to the altar until the Offertory.) After this 
he proceeds to the Epistle side, and, having opened the mis- 
sal at the Mass of the day, returns to the front of the altar, 
at the lowest step, and there begins the service. (A server, 
or altar- boy, kneeling at his left, answers the responses in 

1 The reason of this distinction is founded on the fact that in all the ancient 
Churches there used to he built, generally in the nave, a small altar, at which the bishop 
would seat himself before Mass to receive the obeisance of the people as they passed in, 
and impart them his blessing ; for which reason this altar used to be generally known 
as the SalxtatoH'tm. When the entire congregation had gathered, his lordship would 
rest at this small altar, and then proceed in solemn procession to the sanctuary, where 
he would begin Mass. When the practice of building these appurtenances ceased, the 
main altar of the church served in their stead ; and hence the origin of the present prac- 
tice. This may be gleaned from the Cwenwriiale Episcopontm and the other workf 
that meation the Secretarium, as the Salutatorhun was sometimes called. 

reekBishop in (?hasuble. 



The Sign of the Cross. 183 

the name of the people.) He first makes a low bow, or a 
genuflection if the Blessed Sacrament be present, and then 


by touching his forehead, breast, left and right shoulder, 
as he says, " In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, 
amen " — that is, " In the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, amen." When he touches 
his forehead he says, " In the name of the Father"; 
when he touches his breast, " and of the Son"; and as he 
passes his hand from the left to the right shoulder he con- 
cludes by saying, "and of the Holy Ghost, amen." We 
call the reader's special attention to this distribution of the 
words, for they are very frequently misplaced, it being quite 
common to hear nothing but " Amen " said as the right 
shoulder is touched. This is wholly incorrect, as may be 
seen at once from the rubrics describing the manner of 
making the sign of the cross. It is hardly necessary to 
add that it is always the right hand which is used in 
going through this ceremony. 

Ancient Customs regarding the Manner of Making the 
Sign of the Cross. — In the Christian Church in early times 
the custom of making the sign of the cross on the forehead 
only was very common. Tertullian (a.d. 200) alludes to 
it in his De Corona Militis, cap. iii., as does also the Ro- 
man Ordo in its directions for saying Mass. Sometimes, 
too, only the mouth was signed, and sometimes nothing 
but the breast. Customs varied in different places. 
Anxious, however, to retain vestiges of all these ancient 
and pious practices, the Church still preserves them in 
some part of her sacred offices. The three may be seen 
united in one ceremony at the reading of the Gospel, where 
the priest signs himself on the forehead, mouth, and 
breast as he pronounces the initial words. The signing 

182 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass, 

of the mouth only is seen in the Divine Office of the 
Breviary at the words "Domine, abia mea aperies" — 
"Lord, thou wilt open my lips." 

When all the ancient practices died away, and the present 
discipline was introduced, for quite a long time it was the 
rule to trace the right hand from the right to the left 
shoulder after having touched the breast, instead of, as now, 
from the left to the right. The latter came into general 
use in the time of Pope Pius V. (sixteenth century). 

The Spanish peasantry, in making the sign of the cross, 
use the formula, " By the sign of the Holy Cross deliver 
us from our enemies, God our Lord ! In the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen, 

Eegarding the disposition of the fingers in making this 
sacred sign, different practices existed, too, at one time. 
The most general way, however, in the Latin Church was 
to close the small and annular fingers of the right hand and 
extend the other three ; then to make with the hand thus 
disposed the required sign. Bishops and the members of 
the Carthusian and Dominican orders have retained this 
custom. The two fingers united in this way symbolize the 
duality of natures in our Divine Lord, against the Eutych- 
ians, who maintained that there was but one ; and the 
three other fingers typify the Blessed Trinity (Romsee, 
iv. 56 ; Bona, De Divina Psalmodia, p. 507). It will interest 
the reader to know that our Holy Father the Pope always 
observes this ancient disposition of the fingers whenever he 
imparts his blessing, as may be seen from any correct pic- 
ture representing him in this attitude. 

Customs of the Oriental Church. — The ancient practice of 
touching the right shoulder before the left is yet in Vogue 
with all who follow the Greek Rite, but the disposition of 
the fingers is entirely different. In making the sign of the 

The Sign of the Cross. 183 

cross the Greek priest first crosses his thumb on the annu- 
lar or fourth finger of the right hand, and bends his little 
finger so as to have it resemble the curve of a crescent ; he 
allows the index finger to stand perfectly erect, and, having 
bent the middle one so as to form the same figure as that 
formed by the little finger, raises his hand aloft, and then 
traces the sign. The interpretation of all this is very inter- 
esting. The outstretched finger stands for the Greek letter 
7"; the bending of the middle finger represents the letter C, 
one of the ancient ways of writing Sigma, or the English S; 
the letter 2, and this C or S, form the well-known con- 
traction for " Jesus," being its first and last letters. The 
thumb, crossed upon the fourth finger, is the Greek letter 
X, equivalent to our ch ; and this, with the small finger 
shaped as the middle finger, and representing C or S, forms 
the contraction for " Christus," or Christ. Hence, "Jesus 
Christ" is the interpretation of the whole action. The 
Greeks are so careful to keep the fingers thus adjusted when 
making the sign of the cross that we find them so disposed 
when blessing the people with the Dikerion and Trikerion* 
(see figure). 

In the great church of Holy Wisdom at Constantinople, 
of which we have said so much already, there was a very 
celebrated painting of our Lord in the inner porch over the 
central door, with St. John the Baptist on one side and the 
Blessed Virgin on the other, in the act of blessing the Em- 
peror Justinian, who lay prostrate before him. The man- 
ner in which our Lord's fingers are adjusted in this painting 
is in accordance with the practice we have just described. 
Although the great temple itself is no longer a house of 
Christian worship, it being converted into a Mahometan 

* The Dikerion is a sort of candlestick with two lights, signifying the duality of na- 
, tures in our Lord ; and the Trikerion, with its three lights, symbolizes the ever Blessed 
rrinity. With these the Greek bishop blesses the people before Mass. 

184 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass. 

jami,' traces of the ancient painting may yet be seen there, 
though in a very dingy condition. 

The Maronites, 4 in making the sign of the cross, use the 
formula, " In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost, one True God " {Syriac Maronite Bre- 
viary, Ferial Office). 

The Monophysites, 6 in order to give as much promi- 
nence as possible to their heresy of holding that there was 
but one nature in our Lord, make the sign with one finger 
only. The orthodox of the East, as a set-off against this, 
make it with two (Smith and D wight, Researches in Ar- 
menia, i. 159, note; Bona, De Divina Psalmodia, pp. 507, 
508). According to the first-mentioned authority, the Ar- 
menians make the sign of the cross exactly as we do. 

We will now return to where we left off. Having made 
the sign of the cross upon his person, the priest, alternately 
with the server, recites the " Judica me, Deus," or Forty- 
second Psalm. The peculiar adaptation of this Psalm for 
this part of the Mass is very happy when we consider that, 
according to the most general acceptation, it was originally 
written by King David when exiled from his house and 
home by the treachery of his son Absalom and his kinsman 
Saul. The only consolation that was left him in his misery 
was the hope he fondly cherished of returning again to the 

8 The jami is to a Mahometan what a cathedral is to a Christian. Ordinary 
churches the Mahometans call mosques; the greater ones, or those in which the office 
of Friday (the Turkish Sunday) is performed, are called jamies. The service peculiar 
to them is denominated Jumanamazi. 

* We have said in another place that the name Maronite comes from Maro, a hot/ 
recluse of Mt. Lehanon. We deem it well to mention here that the Maronites them' 
selves derive it from Moran, our Lord, and say that this hetter applies to them than 
any other name, inasmuch as they never lost the faith which they received from our 
Saviour (Bona, Divina Psalmodia, p. 567). 

6 All through Africa the followers of the heretic Eutyches are called Monophysites— 
i.e., believers in one nature ; hut in the East they are universally styled Jacobites, from 
James Bardai, one of their leaders. 

u Judica me, Deus." 185 

tabernacle where, better than anywhere else, he could pour 
out his soul to God in humble prayer. 

Before the time of Pope Pius V. the recital of this Psalm 
was entirely at the option of the priest, somewhat in the 
game way as the " Benedicite " after Mass is at present ; but 
in the new edition of the missal, published by order of the 
Council of Trent and supervised by the pontiff named, its 
recital was made a red letter, and since that time it has be- 
come obligatory. Those who were allowed to retain their 
ancient rites by the above-mentioned pontiff, such as the 
Carthusians, Carmelites, Dominicans, Ambrosians, etc., do 
not recite it now, at least not before the altar as we do. The 
Carmelites say it on the way out as they are going to cele- 
brate, and that in an undertone of voice, without the anti- 
phon " Introibo." Inasmuch as it is more or less a psalm of 
jubilation, it is omitted in Masses for the dead and in those 
of Passion-time. Such expressions as " Why art thou sad, 
my soul ?" and " Why dost thou disquiet me ?" are but ill- 
suited to Masses which are said on mournful occasions. 
According to Pouget, another reason may be given for its 
omission in these cases — viz., that a vestige of the ancient 
custom of not reciting it at all may be preserved (Komsee, 
iv. 60). 

The Psalm is concluded with the minor doxology, e ' Glory 
be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. 
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world 
without end. Amen. " 

Regarding the antiquity of the " Gloria Patri," there 
seems to be unanimous consent that, with the exception of a 
few words, it originated with the Apostles themselves, who 
in conferring Holy Baptism had frequent occasion to pro- 
nounce the greater part of it at least in the sacred formula 
(Kozma, 164). Up to the Council of Nicaea, a.d. 325, its 
form was this : " Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, 

180 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass. 

and to the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen." The 
part, "as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be," 
was added by the fathers of that council against the heretic 
Arms, who denied that our Lord was coequal in eternity 
and in glory with God the Father (Selvaggio, 1. ii. p. i. c. 
10). According to Durandus (Rationale Divin., p. 330), 
Pope Damasus (366-384), at the suggestion of St. Jerome, 
ordered the " Gloria " to be said after every psalm. The 
Greeks say it only after the last, and then not precisely ar 
we do, but as follows : " Glory be to the Father, and to tho 
Son, and to the Holy Ghost, now and ever, and to all ages." 
They, in common with ourselves, call it the minor doxology, 
in contradistinction to the " Gloria in excelsis," which is de- 
nominated the major, or greater. It is never said in the 
Masses or offices of the dead, on account of their lugubrious 
nature. With the Nestorians it is recited thus : " Glory be 
to thee, God the Father ! Glory be to thee, God the Son ! 
Glory be to thee, thou all-sanctifying Spirit. Amen" 
(Burder, ii. 236). 


Following closely upon the "Gloria Patri" is the Con- 
fiteor, or Confession, which the priest recites bowed down in 
profound humility. It is worded as follows : " I confess to 
Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael 
the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apos- 
tles Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, and to you, brethren, 
that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, 
through my fault, through my fault, through my most griev- 
ous fault. Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary ever Virgin, 
the blessed Michael the Archangel, the blessed John the Bap- 
tist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, 
and you, brethren, to pray to the Lord our God for me." 

Although the form of confession precisely as it now standi 

Confiteor. 187 

is not of very high antiquity, yet all are agreed that its main 
structure is of apostolic origin. It must not, however, be 
supposed that ever since the days of the Apostles it has 
formed part of the Mass ; the best authorities say that it 
was not introduced into it until about the eighth century 
(Romsee, iv. 69). Cardinal Bona conjectures that some 
form of confession must have been in use all the time, but 
what it was and where it came in he ventures not to 
say (Rer. Liturg., p. 310). According to Merati (Thesaur. 
Sacr. Rit., p. 158), the Confession was reduced to its present 
form of wording, out of the many then in use, by the third 
Council of Ravenna, held in the year 1314, and all the others 
were suppressed. 

Of the many that formerly appeared and were used in the 
Mass we select the following from the celebrated Missal of 
Sarum, 8 as being the shortest : " I confess to God, to blessed 
Mary, to all the Saints, and to you, that I have sinned 
grievously in thought and in deed, through my fault. I be- 
/eech blessed Mary, all the Saints, and you to pray for me." 

"With the Dominicans the form of confession is as follows : 
u I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, 
io our blessed father Dominic, and to all the Saints, that 1 
have sinned exceedingly in thought, in speech, in work, and 
in omission, through my fault. I beseech the blessed Mary 

• Sarum was an ancient borough in Wiltshire, England, a little north of Salisbury. 
It was rendered famous and of venerable reminiscence from the great St. Osmund, 
who was bishop of the place in 1078, and who, after much labor and careful study, in- 
Itituted the so-called Sarum Rite, or " Use of Sarum," so well known throughout the 
land for the magnificence of its ceremonies. This rite prevailed throughout Great 
Britain generally until the reign of Queen Mary, in 1560, when, through the mediation 
of Cardinal Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury, the regular Roman Rite was introduced in 
Its stead. (For a full account see Butler's Lives of the Saints, under the history of St. 
Osmund, December 4, and Dr. Rock's Church of Our Fathers, vol iii. part ii ) The 
Sarum Rite never obtained at either Lincoln, Hereford, or York ; but it did at the 
famous cathedrals of Peterborough, Ely, and Durham. In a great many of its cere- 
monies it resembled the Carthusian and Dominican rites, as will be Been further on in 
(he present work. 

188 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass. 

ever Virgin, and our blessed father Dominic, and all the 
Saints to pray for me." As the priest says, "Through my 
fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault," 
he strikes his breast three separate times in token of the sor- 
row that he feels for having offended God in the manner 
specified. This is a very ancient practice, for we find it done 
by the poor publican when he entered the Temple to pray, 
and by the people who witnessed our Lord's crucifixion on 
Calvary ; for, as the Holy Scripture says, " They returned 
striking their breasts " {Luke xxiii. 48). The custom, too, 
was very prevalent in the early Church. " We enter the 
temple," says St. Gregory Nazianzen, " in sackcloth and 
ashes, and day and night between the steps and the altar we 
strike our breasts " (Bona, p. 311). According to Duran- 
dus {Rationale, p. 163), striking the breast three times at 
the Confiteor is intended to remind us of the three essen- 
tial parts of the Sacrament of Penance — viz., contrition, 
confession, and satisfaction. 

Confession in the Old Law. — That confession also preceded 
the offering of sacrifice according to the Aaronic ritual the 
Rabbi Moses Maimonides and other Jewish doctors assure 
us (Bona, p. 309). The manner in which this confession 
was to be made was fully explained in the Mislma, and the 
Cabala 1 unravelled its spiritual signification. The form of 

7 The Cabala— called by the Jews the " Soul of the Soul of the Law," in contradis- 
tinction to the Mishna, which they called simply the " Soul of the Law "—compre- 
hended all the decisions of the rabbins on civil and religious points. Strictly speaking, 
it was the unwritten word handed down from sire to son in sacred tradition, and con- 
taining all that was necessary to know in order to understand the law and the prophets. 
According to the Jewish doctors, it was first delivered to Moses by Almighty God him- 
self on Sinai, but was never committed to writing. It was intended to explain all the 
difficult passages of the law and to give their mystical interpretation. Those versed 
in this species of exegesis are called Cabalists. Their principal commentaries are con- 
tained in the book named Zohar, said to have been written by Rabbi Ben Jochai, who 
died about the year a.d. 120. Others ascribe to it a later date (see The Reasons of the 
Law of Moses, from the More Nevochim of Maimonides, done into English by Jarne* 
Townley, D.D., London, 1827 ; and Bannister'* Temples of the Hebrews, p. 359). 

Confiteor. 189 

its wording was as follows : " Truly, Lord! I have sinned; 
I have acted iniquitously ; I have prevaricated before thee, 
and am ashamed of my deeds ; nor shall I ever return to 
them more." This the Jews called " Viddin Haddenarin" 
(Merati, Thesaur. Sac. ML, p. 158). 

Without the express permission of the Holy See nothing 
can be added to the Confiteor. The privilege of adding the 
names of their founders to it is enjoyed by several religious 
orders, such as the Benedictines, Carmelites, Dominicans, 
Franciscans, and Augustinians. 

Confession in the Oriental Church. — All the Eastern 
churches, as we see from their liturgies, observe the practice 
of making some sort of confession before the beginning of 
Mass. Save that of the Armenians alone, the form in no 
case agrees, as far as words are concerned, with ours, but the 
sentiments are the same. The confession used by the Maron- 
ites is as follows : "I ask thee, God ! to make me worthy 
of approaching thy pure altar without spot or blemish ; for 
I thy servant am a sinner, and have committed sins and 
done foolish things in thy sight. Nor am I worthy to ap- 
proach thy pure altar nor thy holy sacraments, but I ask 
thee, pious, merciful, lover of men, to look upon me 
with thine eyes of mercy." After the Confiteor, which the 
server also recites, the priest says : " May Almighty God be 
merciful unto you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to 
life everlasting!" The server having answered "Amen," 
the priest subjoins, "May the Almighty and merciful God 
grant us pardon, absolution, and remission of our sins," to 
which " Amen " is also responded. In beginning the last 
prayer, or " Indulgentiam," the priest makes the sign of 
the cross upon his person to show that it is only through 
Him who died upon the cross for love of man that he ex- 
pects indulgence and pardon. He then recites a few verses 
taken from Holy Scripture, principally from the Psalms, 

190 Customs Relating to the Celebration of Mass, 

and ascends the altar-steps repeating that beautiful pray< 
er, " Take away from us, we beseech thee, Lord ! 
our iniquities, that we may be worthy to enter with 
pure minds the Holy of Holies, through Christ our 

The expression " Holy of Holies," or, as it is in He- 
brew, o'rnp nip, Kodesh Kodeshim y refers away back to 
that portion of the Temple of Solomon which was in- 
accessible to all save the high-priest alone, and even to 
him unless on the great Day of Atonement, which was 
celebrated yearly in the month of Tisri. At all other 
times it was considered sacrilegious even to look into this 
hallowed place, whence the very light of day itself was 
excluded, and where nothing was allowed to remain save 
the Ark of the Covenant, over the lid of which, or Pro- 
pitiatory, as it was called, shone the divine Shechinah* or 
visible manifestation of Jehovah's presence, in the form 
of a luminous cloud. 

The adaptation of this prayer to this part of the Mass 
is admirable. In Solomon's Temple the Holy of Holies 
was entirely shut in from the rest of the building, and 
from the gaze of everybody, by a thick veil, which no 
one was ever permitted to draw aside but the high- 
priest on the Day of Atonement, and not then until 
after much time had been spent in prayer and in per- 

• The presence of the Shechinah (from the Hebrew Shak, to dwell) was one 
of the rare privileges of Solomon's Temple, neither of the subsequent ones pos- 
sessing it. By it the Jews understood the presence of the Holy Ghost ; and 
hence it is that in the Targums we find the distinctive appellations of Jehovah, 
or God ; Memra, or the Word ; and Shechinah, or the Holy Spirit. According 
to the rabbins, the presence of the Shechinah drove the princes of the air from 
the Temple, terrified the demons, and communicated a peculiar sanctity to all around 
the sacred edifice (Bannister, Temples of the Hebrews, p. 142). A tradition of long 
Btanding among the Jews says that when the Temple was destroyed by the Chaldeans 
the Shechinah was seen to fly away from it in the shape of a beautiful dove, never 
more to return. 

Confiteor. 191 

forming the purifications required by the law. In ask- 
ing Almighty God, therefore, to take away from us our 
iniquities, we, as it were, ask him to take away the 
veil alluded to, for our sins as a veil keep us from see- 
ing Him as He is, and keep us from the true Holy of 
Holies, where not a mere Shechinah resides, but the 
great Jehovah of the New Testament, the Son of God 
himself, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. By as 
much, then, as a substance exceeds its shadow, by so 
much does our Holy of Holies exceed that of Solomon's 
Temple ; and the Tabernacle in which the Holy One is 
kept is infinitely more holy and more precious than ever 
the Ark of the Covenant was. The prayer alluded to is 
very ancient, as it may be seen in all the early Roman 
Ordos, and mention is made of it by Micrologus,* who 
wrote in the eleventh century (Romsee, iv. 75). 

When the priest has reached the altar he places his 
hands upon it, and, having made a slight inclination, 
recites the prayer "Oramus te, Domine," which may 
thus be rendered in English: "We pray thee, Lord! 
through the merits of thy saints whose relics are here 
present, and of all the saints, that thou wouldst vouch- 
safe to forgive me all my sins." As he pronounces the 
words "whose relics are here present," he kisses the 
altar out of respect for the sacred relics themselves, as 
well as to testify his love for our Divine Lord, whom 
the altar mystically represents. As we have already de- 
voted several pages to the custom of enclosing relics in 
the altar, we shall only say here that, even though for some 
reason or other there should be no relics at all enclosed, as 
is often the case in this country, still the prayer "Oramus 

* It is not certain whether " Micrologus " was the name of an author or the name 
; of a book. The production, at any rate, dates from the time following closely upon 
the death of Pope Gregory VII., which happened a.d. 1065. 

192 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass. 

te, Domine," must not be omitted. At Solemn High 
Mass the altar is incensed at this place, but at Low Mass 
the priest, after having recited the " Oramus te," goes im- 
mediately to the missal, placed on its stand at the Epistle 

Ancient Customs. — Although the prayer we have been 
speaking of may be found in missals which date as far back 
as the ninth century, still with many churches it was never 
customary to recite it at all, and we see that it is not recit- 
ed now by either the Carthusians or the Dominicans. The 
former say in its stead a " Pater " and " Ave " ; the latter 
kiss the altar simply, and say nothing but the " Aufer a 

In ancient times the custom prevailed of kissing at this 
place, instead of the altar itself, a cross which used to be 
painted on the missal (Romsee, iv. 77). A vestige of this is 
yet to be seen in Pontifical Mass, where the bishop, after he 
has said the "Oramus te, Domine," kisses the altar first, 
and then the Gospel of the day, presented to him by a 
subdeacon. Some used to kiss a sign of the cross traced 
upon the altar with the finger. The Dominicans observe 
this practice yet. 

Oriental Customs in this Respect. — The Nestorian priests 
kiss the altar, as we do, upon first reaching it, and repeat 
this act of reverence frequently through the Mass (Smith 
and Dwight, Researches in Armenia, ii. 2G1 et passim). 
The Armenians kiss a beautifully-wrought cross on the back 
of the missal (ibid. 112^ The practice with the rest of 
the Orientals is precisely like our own, as we see from their 
various liturgies. 

Here we beg to call the reader's particular attention to a 
fact well worthy of remembrance — viz., that there was 
hardly a ceremony or liturgical custom ever used which 

Ancient Customs still retained. 193 

may not yet be found, either whole or in part, in the cere- 
monies employed by the Church to-day. What is not seen 
in Low Mass may be seen in High Mass ; and what is not 
seen in the Mass of an ordinary priest may be seen in that 
celebrated by a bishop ; then, again, what a bishop's Mass 
has not a pope's has. We shall illustrate what we mean by 
examples. In ancient times the "pax," or kiss of peace, 
was common to every Mass, and every member of the con- 
gregation received it in due order ;. now it is only given at 
Solemn High Mass, and then only to the members of the 
sanctuary. The custom once prevailed, too, of pinning a 
handkerchief or maniple to the priest's left wrist a little be- 
fore he ascended the altar-steps, for purposes that we have 
already explained; this custom is now reserved for a 
bishop's Mass, where the maniple is fastened to his lord- 
ship's arm at the "Indulgentiam." Again, when the peo- 
ple communicated under both species, other chalices besides 
that used by the priest were employed, which received the 
name of ministerial, from the fact that the Precious Blood 
was administered from them by means of tubes or long 
reeds ; these tubes are yet employed whenever the pope 
celebrates Grand High Mass. Many things, too, may be 
seen in Masses for the dead which date away back to the 
early days, such as not saying the opening psalm, or " Judi- 
ca me, Deus"; omitting the blessing of the water at the 
Offertory, and of the people at the end of Mass. Man^ 
other vestiges of ancient practices might be enumeratea, 
but we rest content with the citation of one more, taken 
from the Divine Office of the Breviary. It is a well- 
known fact that while the Disciplina Arcani, or "Disci- 
pline of the Secret," prevailed, the Lord's Prayer was one of 
those things that the catechumens were not allowed to learn, 
or even hear recited. Now, as all these were allowed to be 
present at the recital of the Divine Office, this prayer was 

194 Customs relating to the Celebration of Mass, 

never said aloud, lest it might be heard by the uninitiated ; 
but at Mass the case was otherwise. No catechumen could 
remain in church after the Gospel, and hence, as no fear 
was to be apprehended from the presence of any but the 
faithful, when the priest came to the " Pater Noster " he 
said it loud enough to be heard by all. The same is ob- 
servable in the Office and Mass of to-day. 



The priest, having reached the Epistle corner of the altar, 
after the "Oramus te, Domine," stands before the missal and 
reads from it the Introit, or beginning of the Mass of the 
day. In pronouncing its initial words he makes the sign of 
the cross upon himself, thereby calling to mind a memorable 
ancient custom so often alluded to by the early Fathers— 
viz., of making the sacred sign at the beginning of every 
important work. "At every step and movement," says 
Tertullian (second century), ' ' whenever we come in or go 
out, at the bath, at table, whatever we are doing, we make 
the sign of the cross upon our foreheads " (De Corona 
Militis, c. ii.) Strictly speaking, the Introit is the begin- 
ning of Mass, for all that precedes it may be considered 
as a preparation for celebration ; and we have seen that 
the greater part of it has not been long of obligation.. 
With the Ambrosians, or Milanese, the Introit is called the 
Ingress. The Mozarabic Missal calls it the Office, as does 
also that of the Carthusians, Dominicans, and Carmelites ; 
and by this name was it designated, too, in the ancient 
Missal of Sarum ( Church of Our Fathers, vol. iii. p. 147). 

According to Merati (Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., p. 70), the in- 
troduction of Introits into the Mass is to be ascribed to Pope 
Celestine (a.d. 423-432). Previous to this pontiff's time 


196 The Celebration of Mass. 

Mass began with the lessons, and in some cases with the 
litanies, vestiges of which custom we have yet in some 
Masses of Lent. All liturgical writers are agreed in ascrib- 
ing the arrangement of the Introits as they stand now, at 
least of all those that are taken from the Psalms, to Pope 
Gregory the Great. He placed these, together with the 
Graduals, Offertories, Communions, etc., in a separate book 
by themselves, called the Antiphonary , and afterwards drew 
upon them as occasion demanded. It is well to note here 
that in compiling this Antiphonary the pontiff made use, not 
of the Hieronymian translation of the Vulgate that was then 
in circulation, but of that which was in general use before 
St. Jerome's time, and called indifferently the Versio Commu- 
nis, Vetus Itala, and Editio Vulgata. This accounts for the 
difference in wording between those passages of the Psalms 
used in the Mass and those that are said at Yespers and at 
other parts of the Divine Office. For example, the psalm 
" Beatus vir," or the Cxith, has, in the version that is used 
in the Mass, "metuit" and " cupit " where, according to 
St. Jerome's version, we read "timet" and "volet.'" And 
in the Cxlviith Psalm, or the "Lauda Jerusalem," instead of 
St. Jerome's rendition, " Mittit crystallum suam sicut buc- 
cellas," that read in the Mass has " Emittit christallum suam 
sicut frusta panis," and so on with many others. Those of 
the Mozarabic and Ambrosian rites, though not following 
closely the ancient Versio Communis, yet approach nearer to 
it by far than to St. Jerome's version in the portions that 
are used in the Mass. The versions used by them (they are 
not the same) are evidently some of those of which St. Au- 
gustine speaks as being innumerable about his time. 

"Whence the Introits are taken. — We have said that Pope 
Gregory is the author of all — at least so far as regards their 
arrangement — the Introits that are taken from the Psalter. 
There are several which are not taken from the Psalms at 

The Introit. 197 

all, and a few which are taken from no part of Scripture, be- 
ing the composition of some pious individuals. Nay, more, 
there is one which is taken from an apocryphal book — viz., 
the fourth book of Esdras — of which we shall presently 
speak. Those Introits which are not from the Psalms but 
from other parts of Scripture are by Durandus termed irregu* 
lar, probably because they are not found in the Gregorian 
Antiphonary. Of such is the Introit for the third Mass of 
Christmas morning, the "Puer natus est nobis," taken from, 
Isaias, chapter ix., and that for the Epiphany, "Ecce ad- 
venit Dominator Dominus," from Malachias, chapter iii. 
Those that are not Scriptural at all are the "Salve sancta 
parens/' common to nearly all the Masses of our Blessed 
Lady, the Mother of God, and the accredited composition of 
the Christian poet Sedulius, or Shiels, 1 who flourished in the 
fifth century ; the " Gaudeamus omnes in Domino " of the 
Feast of the Assumption ; and the " Benedicta sit Sancta 
Trinitas" for the Feast of Holy Trinity. This latter is 
generally marked in our missals as being from the book of 
Tobias, chapter xii., but this is a mistake ; in no part of 
Scripture do we find the Adorable Trinity menticned ex- 
pressly by one name. That the greater part, indeed, of this 
Introit is framed on the sixth verse of the said chapter is 
undoubtedly true, but it is incorrect to say that all of it is 
taisen thence. We have said that there is an Introit which 
is taken from an apocryphal book ; this is the one used in 
the Mass for the third feria after Pentecost Sunday, be- 

1 According to the general opinion, Sedulius, or Shiels, was an Irishman by birth. 
At an early age he is said to have settled in Italy, where, having prosecuted his studies 
with much success, he was ordained priest, and, according to some, advanced to the 
episcopacy. All pronounce him an eminent scholar and profound divine. The Church 
uses many of his hymne in her service, the principal of which are, " A solis ortua car- 
dine," proper to Lauds of Christmas day ; and " Herodes hostis impie," or, as the 
Roman Breviary has it, " Crudelis Herodes." The reader must be careful not to con- 
found this Sedulius with another of the same name, but styled the Younger, who waa 
bishop in Spain in the eighth century, and who wrote a history of the ancient Irish- 

198 The Celebration of Mass. 

ginning thus: " Accipite jucunditatem." It is from the 
fourth book of Esdras, 2 chapter ii. 

Scope of the Introit. — As a general rule the scope of the 
Introit is a key to the entire Mass of the day. If the occa- 
sion be one of great solemnity, and the Introit be taken from 
the Psalter, it is generally from those psalms that are most 
expressive of joy and exultation. Thus, on Easter Sunday, 
when the whole earth bursts forth in songs of praise over 
the glorious Resurrection of our Divine Lord, the Introit is 
taken from one of the most beautiful psalms among the 
entire one hundred and fifty — viz., the Cxxxviiith. 

On occasions of great sorrow the Introit is generally from 
those psalms known as the elegiac, such as that for Septuage- 
sima Sunday, when the Church puts on her penitential gar- 
ments, and earnestly exhorts her children to prepare them- 
selves by fasting and penance for the sorrowful tragedy that 
is to be enacted the last week of Lent. 

On the feasts of particular saints it is generally formed so 
as to favor some special feature in the saint's career. Thus, 
for instance, in the case of St. Jerome iEmilianus, who was 
known the world over for his singular compassion in behalf 
of forlorn children, the Introit is taken from the Lamenta- 
tions of Jeremias : " My liver is poured out upon the earth, 
for the destruction of the daughter of my people, when the 
children and the sucklings fainted away in the streets of 
the city" (chap. ii. 11). 

Structure of the Introits. — The Introits, as a general rule, 
are made up of a few verses from some of the Psalms or 
other portions of Holy Scripture, followed by the minor dox- 
ology. Formerly the entire psalm used to be repeated at 

* There was a very spirited discussion in the Council of Trent about the propriety 
of putting this book on the list of canonical Scripture. Some of the Fathers, consider 
lug its rare worth in general and the 'ofty tone of its sentiments, argued strongly it 
Invor of it, while others opposed it. The latter, however, ruled ; and so it yet remain*, 

The Introit. 199 

thk place (Bona, p. 312), either by the priest himself oi 
more generally by the choir. Pope Benedict XIV. is oui 
authority for saying that this custom prevailed in the ma- 
jority of churches up to the sixteenth century (De Sacro. 
Missce Sacrif., c. xvii.) 

When the priest has read the entire Introit he reiterates it 
as far as the psalm appended to it. Taken in a mystic point 
of view, this initiatory prayer recalls to mind the clamors 
and anxious expectations of the patriarchs and prophets of 
old for the coming of the Messias, and its double repetition 
signifies the renewed earnestness with which this great event 
was looked for (Durandus, Rationale Divin., p. 153). In many 
of King David's Psalms we find examples of this holy im- 
portunity, where we see the most important verses recited 
sometimes twice and thrice over ; see, among others, Psalm 
xli. The Canticle of Canticles affords many more instances, 
and striking ones at that. Thus, in the fourth chapter 
the spouse is invited from Lebanon three different times : 
"Come from Lebanon, my spouse, come from Lebanon, 

The priests of the Carmelite Rite repeat the Introit as we 
do, on ordinary occasions ; but on the more solemn feasts of 
the year they repeat it three times. According to Le Brun, 
the literal or natural reason of thus lengthening out this 
part of the Mass was to give time for the incensing of the 
altar, etc., at Solemn High Mass, where the duty of singing 
the Introit always devolved upon the choir (see Explication 
des Prieres et des Ceremonies de la Messe, i. 176). 

Almaricus, Bishop of Treves, as related by Fortunatus (De 
Ord. Antiph., cap. xxi.), says that Almighty God, in order to 
testify His approval of this portion of the Mass, caused His 
angels to sing for the Introit of the Mass in the Church of 
Holy Wisdom, at Constantinople, on the Feast of the Epiph- 
any, the ninety-fourth Psalm, or the "Venite exult emus." 

200 TJie Celebration of Mass. 

In Masses for the dead the priest does not make the 
sign of the cross on himself when beginning the Introit, 
but rather over the book, towards the ground, as if to 
bless the earth where the dead lie sleeping (Kozma, p. 

Introits in the Eastern Church. — In the Mass of the East- 
era Church there are two Introits, although neither is 
precisely the same thing as ours, but rather a minor and 
greater procession. The former takes place a little before 
the expulsion of the catechumens, 3 and consists only of the 
translation of the book of the Holy Gospels to the altar by 
the deacon. The latter, or greater Introit, called by the 
Greeks tf jxeydXtj eiaodo?, megale eisodos, follows the expul- 
sion of the catechumens, and is attended with such a gor- 
geous display of ritual that many have taken umbrage at it 
To understand the ground of offence it must be borne in 
mind that on the occasion of this major Introit the uncon- 
secrated elements are carried in solemn procession from the 
prothesis, or cruet-table, to the main altar amid fumes of 
incense and a multitude of blazing torches. An army of 
deacons and acolytes accompanies the procession, and the 
people of the congregation as it passes along prostrate them- 
selves in silent adoration. It was this latter feature that 
formed the chief cause of complaint, and that led the cen- 
sors sent out by the Holy See to the Eastern regions to 
abolish this rite in the liturgies of the orthodox. The 
Orientals attempt a -defence of their seemingly strange cus- 
tom by saying that no adoration whatever is here intended, 
but only what may be termed a sort of anticipatory reverence 
in view of what the elements will be changed into in course 
of the Holy Sacrifice — viz., the Body and Blood of Christ. 
This is the explanation given by Gabriel, Exarch of 

* Although the ceremony of expelling the catechumens has long since ceased in the 
East as well as in the West still these expressions are yet retained by the Orientals. 

Kyrie Eleison. 201 

Philadelphia, in Lydia, Asia Minor (Neale, Holy Eastern 
Church, i. 375). 


When the priest has finished the Introit he proceeds to 
ihe middle of the altar, and there recites alternately with the 
server the "Kyrie eleison," or Minor Litany, as it used to 
be called in the early days. When it is a Solemn High 
Mass this is recited at the book. " Kyrie eleison," and its 
accompanying " Christe eleison," are two Greek expressions 
meaning " Lord have mercy on us," " Christ have mercy on 
us." Including what is said by the priest of this solemn peti- 
tion for mercy, and what is said by the clerk or server, we 
have in all nine separate petitions, which liturgical writers 
interpret as follows : " Kyrie eleison " is said three times to 
God the Father for his manifold mercies ; " Christe eleison * 
is said three times to God the Son, the author of our redemp- 
tion ; and "Kyrie eleison " is thrice repeated again to God 
the Holy Ghost, the sanctifier and consoler (Kozma, 168). 

There is a very ancient tradition, and, to say the least oi 
it, a very beautiful one, to the effect that our Divine Lord, 
on the occasion of his glorious ascension into heaven, tarried 
one day with each of the nine choirs of angels before he 
reached the celestial throne, and that in memory of this the 
" Kyrie " is repeated nine times (Neale, Song of Songs, p. 
86). This tradition, according to some of the early Fathers, 
furnishes a key to the interpretation of that passage in the 
Canticle of Canticles where the spouse is represented as 
"leaping upon the mountains" and "skipping over the 
hills" (chap. ii. 8). The mountains and hills, say they, 
are the grades of the angelic choir through which our Lord 
passed {ibid.) 

Some attribute the introduction of the "Kyrie" into the 
Mass to Pope Gregory the Great : but this cannot be correct, 

202 The Celebration of Mass. 

for that holy pontiff himself said that he only caused it to 
be recited by both priest and people, because in the Greek 
Church it was solely confined to the latter, and even then 
there was no mention whatever of the "Christe eleison." 
Another very strong proof of the earlier introduction of it 
is that the Fathers of the second Council of Vaison, held in 
A.D. 529, speak of it as if well known throughout the whole 
Church ; and this was at least sixty years before Pope 
Gregory's pontificate. We deem it well to quote the words 
of this council : " Let that beautiful custom of all the pro- 
vinces of the East and of Italy be kept up — viz. , that of sing- 
ing with grand effect and compunction the ' Kyrie eleison ' 
at Mass, Matins, and Vespers — because so sweet and pleas- 
ing a chant, even though continued day and night with- 
out interruption, could never produce disgust or weariness " 
[Surnrna Conciliorum, p. 89). 

In many churches the custom prevailed for some time of 
intermingling with the " Kyrie," certain intercalary expres- 
sions touching the nature of the feast of the occasion. Thus, 
on feasts of the Blessed Virgin it would read after this 
manner : "0 Lord, thou lover of virginity, illustrious Fa- 
ther and Mary's Creator, have mercy on us"; and so on 
with the rest of it (Romsee, p. 84). 

The Ambrosians, or those who follow the Milanese Rite, 
recite the " Kyrie " at three different periods of the Mass — 
viz., after the "Gloria in excelsis," after the Gospel, and 
at the conclusion of divine service. 

Why said in Greek. — There are certain words and expres- 
sions so peculiarly adapted to the language in which they 
were first conceived that they lose all their force and beauty 
when translated into another. Of such a nature are the 
words "alleluia," "hosanna," and "Kyrie eleison." But 
there is a deeper reason than this for retaining them in the 
Mass. Originally the Church was principally formed out of 

Kyrie Eleison. 203 

three different nations — viz., the Latin, the Greek, and the 
Hebrew — and in order to testify that the belief of these three 
nations was one and the same, the Western or Latin Church 
thought it proper to preserve the memory of the fact by 
adopting phrases from each of them. From the Greek we 
have "Kyrie eleison, Ohriste eleison," and in the Impro- 
peria of Good Friday, "Agios Theos, Agios Ischuros, Agios 
Athanatos" ; and from the Hebrew, "amen," "alleluia," 
" hosanna," " Sabaoth," "cherubim " and "seraphim," and 
several others which occur now and then in the Epis- 
tles and Gospels. But liturgical writers give several other 
reasons for the retention of these languages in the Mass, 
foremost of which is that they have ever been looked upon 
as venerable and sacred, from the fact that the title of the 
cross was written in them ; and as the sacrifice of the Mass 
and that offered on the cross are one and the same, except 
that the former is offered in an unbloody manner, what 
could be more appropriate than to give these hallowed lan- 
guages a place in it ? The Greek has innumerable other 
claims to the place it holds. It was the vernacular of some, 
in fact we might say of the vast majority, of the early heroes 
and defenders of the faith — of St. John Chrysostom, St. Gre- 
gory Nazianzen, St. Basil the Great, St. John Damascene, 
and hosts of others. It was in it that the very valuable 
and venerable translation of the Scriptures called the Sep- 
tuagint was made, from which our Lord and his blessed 
Apostles drew so largely in their addresses to the people 
(Dixon, Introduction to the Sacred Scrip., p. 98). 

One thing alone, to pass over all others, should entitle the 
Hebrew to a place in the Mass — viz., it was the language of 
Melchisedec, the prototype in the old law of our Divine Lord 
himself in relation to his sacred and eternal priesthood. 
It was also the vernacular of our Lord and his ever-blessed 
Mother, not to say of the majority of his disciples in the 

<c04 The Celebration of Mass. 

new law. We do not think it necessary to enter here into a 
full history of the ancient Hebrew and what it is so often 
known by — viz., the Syro-Chaldaic, or Syriac. Let it suffice 
to say that since the Baby Ionic captivity there has been no 
true Hebrew spoken by the Jews ; and that what goes by 
that name in the New Testament was an Aramean branch of 
the Semitic family of languages known as the Syriac. It can 
be proved, almost to a demonstration, that this was the 
language our Lord spoke. 

Oriental Usage regarding the "Kyrie eleison." — The Li- 
turgy of St. James 4 is the only Eastern Liturgy which 
enjoins the recital of the "Kyrie" on the priest. In 
all the others it is solely confined to the choir and peo- 
ple, who, however, on no occasion say " Christe eleison." 
The Liturgy of St. Chrysostom 4 prescribes the recital of the 
" Kyrie " after all the principal supplications. 


After the recital of the "Kyrie" follows that of the 
" Gloria in excelsis," or major doxology, during which the 
priest makes several reverences by bowing the head 
slightly at some of its principal clauses, and terminates it 
by making the sign of the cross upon his person. 

* The Liturgy of St. James lays claim to the first place among all the liturgies of the 
East. It is said to be the oldest in existence, having been committed to writing some- 
where about the beginning of the third century. Though now rarely used in its en- 
tirety, still it is the basis of all those liturgies used by the Maronites, Syrians, and 
Nestorians, and is the one accredited to the churches within the patriarchate of Jerusa- 
lem. It is used in some of the islands of the Archipelago on St. James' day. 5 The Lit* 
urgy of St. Chrysostom, derived and abbreviated from that of St. Basil, as the Jatter is 
from that of St. James, has the largest circulation at present of any known Liturgy in 
the East. It is in general use wherever the Greek Rite, no matter what the language 
be, prevails. It is therefore the Liturgy of Russia and of the four patriarchates, Con- 
stantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, as well as of the kingdom of Greece. 
On those occasions upon which it is not employed— viz., on the Sundays of Lent, ex- 
cept Palm Sunday, and Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, and the vigils of Christmas and 
the Epiphany— the Liturgy of St. Basil supplies its place. 

Gloria in Excelsis. 205 

Regarding the authorship of the opening words of this 
sublime anthem no doubts can be entertained, for the 
Evangelists record them as having been sung by the 
Heavenly Host over Bethlehem on Christmas morning. 
Much dispute, however, has arisen regarding the remain- 
der ; some attributing them to one author, others to an- 
other. A very widely circulated opinion accredits it to 
St. Hilary, Bishop of Poictiers, in France, a.d. 353. 
Whoever be its author, this much is certain : that it 
existed word for word as it stands now before the Coun- 
cil of Nicaea, held in a.d. 325 (Kozma, p. 170; Bona). 
Rather, then, than ascribe it to any one in particular, 
in the absence of substantial proof, it is better to 
say, with the Fathers of the fourth Council of Toledo, in 
Spain, held a.d. 633, that the remainder was composed by 
doctors of the Church, whoever these were (Merati, Thesaur. 
Sacr. Bit., p. 72). 

So careful was the ancient Church of securing for this 
sacred anthem all the veneration that was due to it that 
she restricted its recital to very grand occasions, and even 
then confined it solely to bishops. But it was not at its 
introduction confined exclusively to the Mass, for we find 
it prescribed for the Morning Service, or Matins, of the 
Divine Office (Romsee, iv. 90). The precise date of its 
introduction into the Mass, or who introduced it, is not 
easy to settle. Those who ascribe its introduction to Pope 
Telesphorus are evidently incorrect in so doing, for it is 
now very well ascertained that he only caused to be said 
the initial sentence, or the part chanted by the angels, and 
had nothing to do with the rest of it (Bona, p. 317). Until 
the entire hymn was composed, the first part of it, or 
the angelic words, used to be sung — not, however, in every 
Mass, but only in the Midnight Mass of Christmas, as the 
above-named pontiff decreed (ibid.) According to Pop© 

206 The Celebration of Mass. 

Innocent III. (De Sacr. Altaris Mysterio, cap. xx. p. 113), 
it was Pope Symmachus (498-514) who extended it in its 
present form to every Sunday in the year and to the feasts 
of all the holy martyrs. Some maintain that the decree 
regulating this discipline was to be viewed as a general one, 
And that hence it included priests as well as bishops ; oth- 
ers hold that it affected the latter only. Whether it did 
or did not, this much is certain : that when Pope Gregory 
the Great attained to the pontificate (590-604) no priest 
was accustomed to say it in any Mass, unless in that of 
Easter Sunday ; and bishops were not allowed to recite it 
except on Sundays and festivals. From a very ancient 
Roman directory yet preserved in the Vatican Library we 
derive the following information in point : ( ' Dicitur * Glo- 
ria in excelsis Deo,' si episcopus fuerit, tantummodo die 
Dominico, sive diebus festis. A presbyteris autem minime 
dicitur nisi in solo Pascha " (Bona, p. 317) — that is, " If the 
bishop celebrates, the ' Gloria in excelsis ' is said only on 
Sundays and festivals. On no account must it be said by 
priests, unless on Easter Sunday alone." This same re- 
striction was approved of and enjoined by Pope Gregory, 
who also caused it to be inserted in a conspicuous place in 
the missal made out under his supervision ; and in this way 
did it continue, according to Cardinal Bona, until about the 
middle of the eleventh century, when the restriction was 
taken away and the privilege of reciting it extended to 
priests and bishops alike in every Mass that admitted 
of it. 

According to Martene and others, this hymn used to be 
chanted in early times at Rome on Christmas morning, in 
Greek first and then in Latin. The same custom prevailed 
also among the clergy of Tours, where it was said in Greek 
at the first Mass, and at the second in Latin (Enchiridion d$ 
Sacr. Missce ex opere Ben. XIV., p. 31). 

Gloria in Excelsis, 207 

iffhen the M Gloria in excelsis" may be said. — As the An. 

gelic Hymn is one of joy and festivity, its recital is forbid, 
den to all during seasons of penance and mourning. Hency 
it is not heard during Lent or in Masses for the dead. Du 
randus tells us, with no small amount of holy indignation, 
that in times gone by the bishop of Bethlehem arrogated to 
himself the right of reciting it on every occasion, no matte* 
whether it was a joyful or a sorrowful one, and this for the 
reason that an exception should be made in case of the city 
where the sacred anthem had first been heard (Rationale 
Divinorum, p. 172). The present rule regarding its recital 
is that which was laid down by Pope Pius V. — viz., that 
whenever the " Te Deum " is recited in the Divine Office this 
hymn is said in the Mass. This, however, admits of a 
few exceptions ; but as we are not writing a ceremonial, we 
do not think it our duty to name what they are, and we wish 
our readers to bear this in mind in similar cases. 

How the Dominicans, Carthusians, and Others recite it. 
— The Carthusians and Dominicans, as their ceremonials 
direct, go to the middle of the altar, as we do, to recite this 
hymn, but after they have said its initial words they return 
and finish the remainder at the missal. This custom pre- 
vailed also in the Mass according to the Sarum Kite ( Church 
of Our Fathers, iii. 148). 

Practice of the Oriental Church. — Singularly enough, the 
Nestorians are the only Christians of the East who recite 
this hymn in the Mass (Neale, Holy Eastern Church, i. 471). 
The Greek Church recites it frequently in the Divine Office, 
but never in the Liturgy or Mass. It appears, to be sure, 
in the Liturgy of St. James, but not the entire hymn, only 
the angelic part, or that which used to be said at first in 
the Latin Church. And this cannot but be a strong argu- 
ment against those who would have the authorship of it 
accredited to Pope Telesphorus, who died in A.D. 154 ; for 

208 The Celebration of Mass, 

undoubtedly, if it existed in its entirety then as now, it 
would be so inserted in that Liturgy, which, in the opinion 
of the ablest critics, was not edited earlier than the year 200. 


At the conclusion of the ' ' Gloria in excelsis " the priest 
stoops down and kisses the altar; then, having turned to 
the people, salutes them with " Dominus vobiscum" — " The 
Lord be with you" — words evidently taken from the Old 
Testament, where we see them employed on various occasions 
(see Ruth ii. 4 ; 2 Parol, xvi. et passim). The Jews were 
very particular in having the name of God in all their salu- 
tations, or at least an allusion to some one of God's good 
gifts. Their other salutations used to be : 1, The blessing 
of Jehovah upon thee ; 2, May God be with thee ; 3, Be 
thou blessed of Jehovah ; 4, Peace be to thee. It was this 
last form that the Angel Gabriel used when he announced 
to our Blessed Lady that she was to be the favored Mother 
of the " Long-expected of nations, " our Saviour and Re- 
deemer. What in English is rendered by " Hail to thee " is 
in Syriac — the vernacular of the Blessed Virgin at that time, 
and evidently the language in which the angel addressed 

her — u*.s^ }o!L-* Slom lek — "Peace to thee." 



We have seen that the recital of the " Gloria in excelsis " 
was at its introduction into the Mass solely confined to bish- 
ops, and continued to be peculiar to them for many centu- 
ries afterwards. Now, inasmuch as peace — i.e., the peace of 
God, which, as the apostle saith," surpasseth all understand- 
ing " — is the most prominent feature set forth in this sacred 
anthem ; and as our Divine Lord always made use of the 
word in his salutations to his disciples after his resurrec- 

Pax Vobis. 209 

tion, it was deemed appropriate to deviate from the usual 
"Dominus vobiscum" after the recital of this hymn, and 
say in its stead, " Pax vobis "— " Peace be to you " To keep 
up an old custom, and to establish a slight difference be- 
tween a bishop's manner of saying Mass and that of a 
priest, the former was allowed to retain the use of "Pax 
vobis" after the privilege of reciting the "Gloria" had 
been extended to the latter (Bona, p. 318 ; Le Brun, i. 205). 
But it is only at the end of this anthem that the bishop 
salutes with "Pax vobis"; upon every other occasion he 
says "Dominus vobiscum" like an ordinary priest. Some 
Spanish bishops, it is true, arrogated to themselves the right 
of saying it upon every occasion, but we see how severely 
they were reprehended for so doing by the first Council of 
Braga. in a.d. 561 (Bona, ibid.) 

Oriental Customs. — The Greeks never use the salutation 
" Dominus vobiscum," but always say in its stead " Eiprjvrf 
naGiv" eirene pasin — that is, "Peace to all" ; to which is 
responded, " Ka\ t&> nvevjxari gov" Kai to pneumati sou 
— "And to thy spirit." The same forms are observed in 
all the other churches of the East, with very little difference. 
At several parts of the Mass it is customary with the Nes- 
torian priests to make the sign of the cross upon themselves 
when using this salutation, which is generally, " Peace be 
with you all." Their deacons, for the most part, say, 
' Peace be with us" (Badger, Nestorians and their Rituals> 
ii. 237 et passim). 

After having said the " Dominus vobiscum," the priest 
returns to the Epistle corner of the altar, and there, extend- 
ing his hands in the manner of a suppliant, reads from the 
missal before him the prayers proper to the occasion. As he 
is about to read the first he invites all to unite with him in 
the sacred act by reciting aloud " Oremus" — "Let us pray." 
In former times it was customary to turn entirely around to 

210 The Celebration of Mass. 

the congregation after this invitation had been pronounced, 
and explain to them the precise nature of the prayer that 
followed, a vestige of which is still retained in the long 
series of prayers recited in the Mass of Good Friday, 
where we see a particular object prefixed to each. Another 
custom, too, that obtained in ancient times was for the 
people to enter into a sort of silent prayer after they had 
heard " Oremus," and remain in this quiet meditation until 
the general prayer was announced. This general prayer was 
denominated " i7tinkr)Gis" epiklesis, by the Greeks, from 
ini, upon, and uaXicj^ I call — that is, an invocation — 
but in Latin it received the name of collecta, or collect, 
from the verb colligere, to gather together ; because the 
common wants of the whole people were, as it were, brought 
together in it and laid before Almighty God. These pray- 
ers go by the name of collects even to-day (Bona, p. 319 
Selvaggio, Inst. Christian Antiq., i. p. 1). 


The priest recites all the prayers with outstretched and ex- 
tended hands. This practice is not new, for we find that it 
was observed also in the old law. Moses thus prayed in the 
wilderness, and the Holy Scripture tells us that as long as 
he kept his hands thus uplifted on high while his kinsmen 
fought against the Amalekites in the valley of Eaphidim, the 
former were always victorious, but that when he let them 
down a little, victory fell to the latter {Exod. xvii. ) Many 
touching allusions are made to this extending of hands in 
prayer throughout the Old Testament ; and we see it also 
strongly recommended in the New, for St. Paul says, '* I will 
that men pray lifting up pure hands " (1 Tim. ii. 8). And that 
this holy and venerable attitude was observed by the ancient 
Christians in their devotions, innumerable testimonies prove. 
The Catacombs bear witness of the fact in the pictures they 

Manner of reciting the Prayers, 211 

furnish us of men and women praying in this way. But 
it is only the priest at Mass who observes this practice 
now. The people pray that way no longer, but rather with 
hands united. Dr. Kock tells us in his Hierurgia (p. 61) 
that while travelling in Europe he noticed the people in 
many of the churches of Munich praying after the ancient 
manner. In the mystic interpretation of this posture there 
is reference, first, to Adam's uplifting of his hand in reach- 
ing for the forbidden fruit ; and, secondly, to the lifting 
up and outstretching of our Divine Lord's hands on the 
cross, by which Adam's transgression was atoned for (Bona, 
p. 322). Praying with the hands fully extended in the form 
of a cross is yet observed at certain parts of the Mass by the 
Carthusians, Carmelites, and Dominicans, as we see from 
their ceremonials. 

The reader, no doubt, will be curious to know something 
more about the manner in which the ancient Christians 
assisted at Mass than what we have given. As a general 
rule the ancient churches had no seats for the people to sit 
on, as that position was deemed ill in keeping with the 
gravity becoming the house of God. As the services, how- 
ever, in the very early days were much longer than at pre- 
sent, those who, through feebleness of health or other cau- 
ses, could not stand, were allowed the use of staves to lean 
upon, and in some rare cases even of cushions to sit upon, 
a practice which is yet quite common in the churches of 
Spain, and in many of those of the rest of Europe. It was 
the rule to stand always on Sunday, in memory of our Lord's 
glorious resurrection, and to kneel the rest of the week 
(Selvaggio, b. 10). As kneeling is a sign of humiliation, it 
was the rule to observe it during the penitential seasons 
and on all occasions of mourning. According to St. Jerome, 
St. Basil the Great, Tertullian, and others, these rules were de- 
rived from the Apostles themselves ; but because some would 

212 The Celebration of Mass. 

sit when they ought to stand, and some stand when they 
ought to kneel, the Sacrosanct Council of Nicsea, in or- 
der to establish uniformity, thus decreed in its twentieth 
canon : "In order that all things may be done alike in every 
parish, it has seemed good to this Holy Synod [to decree] 
that the people pour out their prayers standing" (Summa 
Gonciliorum, p. 35 ; Selvaggio, 8). Of course this rule did 
not affect the Public Penitents, who were obliged to remain 
kneeling during the entire time that they were permitted to 
be present in the house of God. The fourth Council of 
Carthage strictly forbade them ever to change this posture. 

Whenever any important prayer or lesson was to be read, 
and the people had been kneeling beforehand, the deacon 
invited them now to stand by the words, "Erecti stemus 
honeste " — that is, "Let us become erect and stand in a be- 
coming manner." During the penitential season the con- 
gregation were invited to kneel by saying, " Flectamus 
genua," and to stand up afterwards by "Levate." The 
same custom may yet be observed in Lent and on some 
other occasions. The Catholic reader need not, of course, 
"be told that during the actual celebration of Mass the priest 
is always standing. At Solemn High Mass he and his min- 
isters are allowed to sit down while the choir are chanting 
the "Kyrie eleison," "Gloria in excelsis," and "Credo," 
but never at any other part of the service. Two singular 
instances of saying Holy Mass in a sitting posture are upon 
record. Pope Benedict XIV. did so in his declining years, 
when through great feebleness of health he could neither 
stand nor kneel, and the same is recorded of the saintly and 
ever-memorable pontiff, Pope Pius VII. 

Praying towards the East. — The custom prevailed very 
generally with the Christians of early days of turning to the 
east in prayer, whether at Mass or out of Mass, and the ma- 
jority of ancient churches were built with a view to favor 

Number of Collects said in the Mass. 213 

this custom. The reasons given for this practice are the 
following : First, because the east is symbolic of our Lord, 
who is styled in Scripture the " Orient from on high/' the 
" Light," and the " Sun of Justice." Secondly, the Garden 
of Eden was situated in that region, and thence did the 
Magi come to lay their gifts at the crib of our Lord on 
Christmas morning. Thirdly, according to St. John Da- 
mascene, when our Lord hung on the cross his back was 
turned to the east and his face to the west ; we therefore 
pray to the east that we may, as it were, be looking in his 
face. Fourthly, the ancients prayed in this direction, in 
order not to resemble the pagans, who moved in every direc- 
tion — now praying towards the sun at mid-day, now towards 
the moon, and again towards the stars ; the Saracens prayed 
towards the south, the Jews towards Jerusalem, and the 
Mahometans towards Mecca. Fifthly, it has always been 
looked upon as an established thing that at the last day our 
Lord, with his effulgent cross sparkling in the heavens, will 
come to judge mankind from the eastern quarter (see Bona, 
Divina Psalmodia, p. 441 ; Kiddle's Christian Antiquities, 
p. 795). 


On occasions of great solemnity the general rule pre- 
scribes but one Collect, but on ordinary occasions three is 
the number. It is forbidden to say more than seven at 
any time, and this number is rarely reached unless when 
some special commemorations are made. According to 
liturgical commentators, one prayer mystically represents 
the unity of our faith ; three are said in honor of the 
Blessed Trinity, and in memory of our Lord's praying thrice 
in the Garden of Olives ; five commemorate his five wounds ; 
and by seven we are reminded of the seven gifts of the Holy 
Ghost (Bouvry, ii. 128 ; Durandus, Rationale Divin., p. 181). 

214: The Celebration of Mass, 

Whatever be the number of the Collects, none others may 
be said unless those given in the missal. As far back as the 
year 416 laws were made by the Council of Milevi, in Africa, 
forbidding under severe censures the introduction of any 
prayers into the Mass except those approved of by legitimate 
authority. This discipline is yet strictly observed. 

Prayers of the Oriental Church.— The prayers used by the 
Orientals are much more numerous than ours, as may be 
readily seen from any one of their liturgies. In length, too, 
they far exceed those that we employ, for which reason alone 
the service of Mass in the East occupies nearly twice the 
time that ours does. The Copts generally add prayers for 
the favorable flow of the Nile, which is to them one of the 
chief sources of temporal blessings, for the entire vegetation 
and fecundity of Egypt depends upon its inundations.* 
The " Oratio fluminis," or Prayer of the Eiver, is thus 
worded : " Eemember, Lord ! the waters of the river, and 
bless and increase them according to their measure." 


At the conclusion of the prayers the server answers 
"Amen," a Hebrew word meaning "may it be so." The 
custom of thus answering amen at the end of the prayers is 
evidently derived from the old law, for we find it in nearly 
every book of the Old Testament, and it is also very common 
in the New. According to Cardinal Bona (Divina Psalmo- 
dia, p. 532), it is one of those words which the translators of 
the Bible left untouched, lest by rendering it in any other 

6 There is an instrument for measuring the rise of the Nile in the is/e of Rhoda, 
called the nilometer, but by the Arabs Dvr-el-Mekias— place of measure. According 
to Kalkasendas, if the river rose but twelve pikes there would be a famine ; fourteen 
pikes caused a year of plenty ; sixteen grave abundance for two years ; and when tt 
reached seventeen it had attained its full limit. Great fears were always entertained oJ 
its going beyond this boundary, for a serious inundation would be the result ; and 
hence the earnestness with which the Copts prayed for a due disposition of them 
waters (cir. Pococke's Trawls in Egypt). 

The Epistle. 215 

language but its native Hebrew its power and beauty might 
be lost. 


The reading of the Epistle immediately follows the last 
Collect. To this end, instead of keeping his hands spread 
out as heretofore, the priest now rests them on the missal- 
stand, while he reads the Epistle in an audible tone. Nor is 
this change in the position of the hands without a mystic 
meaning. By it the priest is made aware of the obligation 
he is under of not only reading the law, but also of doing 
what it prescribes, the hands being indicative of labor 
(Romsee, iv. 101). 

The particular part of Scripture from which the Epistle 
is taken, as well as the Apostle's name to whom it is ac- 
credited, both of which form the title, are first read before 
the text itself ; thus, for example, " the reading of the 
Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians," 
"to the Hebrews," "to the Romans," etc., as the case 
may be. If the lesson to be read be taken from any one 
of the three books, viz., Proverbs, the Canticle of Can- 
ticles, or Ecclesiasticus, its title is always, " the reading of 
the Book of Wisdom," without any further specification, for 
the reason that these three books were always denominated 
the "Sapiential Writings" by the ancient Fathers (De 
Herdt, Sacr. Liturg., ii. No. 63). 

The ancient Hebrews — and the practice is yet kept up by 
the modern Jews — always began the reading of the Law with 
the forty-fourth verse of the fourth chapter of Deuteron- 
omy, viz., "this is the law that Moses set before the chil- 
dren of Israel " (Burder, Eehg. Cerm. and Customs, p. 39). 
Before the Epistles were in circulation, the custom of read- 
ing portions of the Old Testament was always observed in 
the early Church, as can be proved by numberless testimo- 

216 The Celebration of Mass, 

nies. The Acts of the Apostles refer frequently to this 
practice. But as soon as the Epistles were written the cus- 
tom of reading the Old Testament gradually died away, and 
gave place to the custom which is now in vogue. St. Paul 
strictly ordained that his Epistles should be read in all the 
churches under his charge. In his Epistle to the Colos^ 
sians, chapter iv., he writes thus: " And when this Epistle 
shall have been read with you, cause that it be read also in 
the Church of the Laodiceans." And at the end of his first 
Epistle to the Thessalonians he thus expresses himself : "I 
charge you by the Lord that this Epistle be read to all the 
holy brethren." St. Justin Martyr (second century) informs 
us that this practice was general in his time (Apol., 2) ; and 
Tertullian refers to it also (Apol., c. 39). 

In many of the churches of early days it was custom- 
ary to read first a lesson from the Old Testament, and 
then an Epistle from the ISTew, in order to show that both 
the one and the other are entitled to much respect ; and 
that although the new law is much more perfect than the 
old, still the moral teaching of the latter remains yet in all 
its vigor. This custom is yet kept up in the Mozarabic 
and Ambrosian rites ; and the Carthusians and Domini- 
cans observe it on Christmas day and its vigil. A vestige 
of the practice may be seen in our own missal, also, in the 
Masses of the Quarter Tenses — with this difference, how- 
ever : that instead of one lesson several are read, in order to 
show the aspirant for the holy ministry the necessity he 
is under of becoming thoroughly conversant with the law 
and the prophets, as well as with what the New Testament 
contains ; for it was during these days that orders were 
conferred in ancient times, and even according to the pre- 
sent discipline of the Church they are yet set apart for this 
purpose in the majority of places in Europe (Gavantus, 
Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., p. 338). The Council of Laodicea, 

The Epistle. 217 

held in the fourth century, and the third Council of Car- 
tnage iorbade the reading of anything in the Mass which 
was not taken from Holy Scripture. An exception, how- 
ever, seems to have been made in some cases, for we see 
that the letters of the Supreme Pontiffs and the Acts of 
the Martyrs, also the letters of the bishop of the diocese,- 
used to be read very frequently (Martene, De Antiquis 
ficcl. Ri/ibus). 

With the ancient Hebrews, the Pentateuch, or Sepher 
Tor a* as they called it, was held in such high estimation 
that they made it a practice to read as much of it on every 
Sabbath as would enable them to finish it in the course 
of a year. For which reason they divided the entire five 
books into portions called parshizoth, fifty-three or fifty-four 
in number, corresponding with the entire number of ser- 
vice days, and read one at every service. The Jews of to- 
day keep up this custom (Bannister, Temples of the He- 
brews, p. 351). 

It is universally admitted, we believe, that the series and 
order of the Epistles read to-day in the Mass were drawn up 
by St. Jerome at the request of the Sovereign Pontiff Pope 
Damasus (Cardinal Bona, Rer. Liturg., p. 324). They 
were first inserted in a book by themselves, called by St. 
Jerome the Companion, but when plenary missals came into 
use the Companion was superseded by them, and in this 
way it lost its individuality. 

At High Mass the Epistle is chanted by the subdeacon in 
ft loud tone of voice, with only one modulation at the con- 

• We deem it well to inform the reader at this place that the Hebrews made three 
great divisions of the entire Bible, which they denominated respectively Sepher Tora, 
or the Book of the Law — i.e., the Pentateuch ; Nebiim, or the Book of the Prophets ; 
and Ketobiim, or the Sacred Writings. This last division was what the ancient Fa- 
thers called ffagiographa. The reading of the Sepher Tora began at Nisan, the first 
month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, and continued up to the end of Adar, tfr« 
last month. Much display attended this reading. 

218 The Celebration of Mass, 

elusion. It is chanted facing the altar and not tne congre- 
gation, as is the case when the Gospel is chanted, because 
the latter, being the words of our Lord, is entitled to more 
respect, and, besides, it is principally designed for the in- 
s true lion of the people. The custom of sitting down during 
the reading of the Epistle is very ancient, being evidently 
derived from the synagogue and early Christians (Eomsee, 
iv. p. 103). According to Durandus, the Epistle is read 
before the Gospel on account of its symbolizing the mission 
of St. John the Baptist, who was the precursor of our Lord 
(Rationale, p. 183). 

Deo Gratias. — At the conclusion of the Epistle the server 
answers, " Deo gratias " — " Thanks be to God " — as an evi- 
dence of the gratitude we owe to our Creator for the spiri- 
tual nourishment of his sacred words. According to the 
Mozarabic Rite, this response is made as soon as the title 
of the Epistle is announced. 

In ancient times the expression "Deo gratias" was in 
very common use among the faithful. It was, in fact, one 
of their principal forms of salutation whenever they met, 
as we learn from St. Augustine, who also tells us that the 
impious Donatists endeavored to turn it into ridicule. 
When the proconsul Galerius Maximus read out the 
decree, " Thasius Cyprianus shall die by the sword," the 
saintly bishop received the sentence by exclaiming, " Deo 
gratias ! " 

Epistle in the Eastern Church. — The practice of reading 
the Epistle in the Mass is also observed by all the Oriental 
churches, as their liturgies show us. The Copts at this 
place read five different portions of the Sacred Writings, 
each of which, in accordance with Oriental usage, they de- 
nominate the Apostle. These five portions are taken respec- 
tively from the Epistles of St. Paul, the Catholic Epistles, 
the Acts of the Apostles, the Psalter, and the Evangels 

The Epistle. 219 

(Renaudot, Liturg. Orient., i. 186). Their canons are so 

strict in this matter that, were a priest to omit any of these 
designedly, he would subject himself to excommunication ; 
and as the ancient Coptic, or that in which their service is 
carried on, is entirely unknown among the people, after the 
Epistle has been read in that tongue, it is again read in 
Arabic, the language of the day in those parts. All through 
the East the Apostle — as they call the Epistle — is listened to 
and read with a very great amount of respect. 

The Ambo. — Whenever there was Solemn High Mass, which 
was the case nearly always in the early Church, the Epistle 
used to be chanted, not in the sanctuary as now, but from 
an elevated lectern or pulpit known as the Ambo, from the 
Greek avaj3aivoj — anabaino, I ascend — placed generally 
in the nave of the church. In some places there were as 
many as three appurtenances of this kind : one for the read- 
ing of the Epistle, another for the reading of the Gospel, 
and the third for the Prophecies. Specimens of these may 
yet be seen in that ancient church at Rome known as St. 
Clement's. Though many churches possessed two of these 
amboes, one set apart for the chanting of the Epistle, the 
other for the chanting of the Gospel, still the general rule 
was to make one ambo serve for both these purposes ; and 
we find but one employed in the great church of Holy 
Wisdom at Constantinople, which all regarded as the most 
perfect temple of worship then in existence. 

Material of which the Amboes were made. — The material 
as well as the workmanship of the amboes varied, of 
course, according to the means of the church. Some were 
plain and made wholly of wood, while others were formed 
of the costliest materials. That in the Church of Holy 
Wisdom was constructed of pure alabaster, and enriched 
with columns of silver and gold sparkling with gems 
(Neale, Holy Eastern Church, L 203). The celebrated 

220 The Celebration of Mass. 

ambo of the ancient Cathedral of Durham, in England, 
was made of solid brass, and so beautifully finished was it 
that persons came from afar to see it. It is described in 
the Ancient Monuments of Durham as having a gilt peli- 
can, feeding its young with blood from its breast. These 
annals describe it as the " goodlyest letteron of brass that 
was in all the countrye " ( Church of Our Fathers, Yol. iii. 
191). (The reference in the figure of the pelican is to a 
vision had by St. Gertrude, where our Divine Lord ap- 
peared to her in the form of this bird with his Precious 
Blood flowing from his Sacred Heart for the nourishment 
of mankind. The pelican is said to open its breast with its 
bill when all other means of feeding its young fail, and keep 
them from utter starvation by administering its life-blood 
for their food.) Many of the ancient amboes had curioug 
figures engraved and constructed upon them. In some the 
Archangel St. Michael with the last trumpet could be seen ; 
in others a huge eagle with its eyes turned aloft, to signify 
the sublimity of the Word of God. This was generally the 
device used in the Gospel ambo. 

But the ambo was not exclusively used for the Epistle 
and Gospel. Sermons were preached from it sometimes, 
and in the churches of Egypt it was thence that the an- 
nouncement regarding the time of Easter and the other 
movable feasts was made. The ambo was also the place 
where the diptychs were read ; and at Constantinople it 
was there that the emperors were generally crowned (Neale, 
Holy Eastern Church, i. 205). 

Although these ancient appurtenances have long been 
discontinued, traces of them may yet be seen in some of the 
European churches, particularly in those of Eome. At 
Lyons, too, not only are amboes seen, but the old custom 
of chanting the Epistle and Gospel from them is still 
strictly observed. 

The Gradual Ml 


After the Epistle comes the Gradual, so called not, as 
Borne suppose, from the steps of the altar — for it was never 
read from these — but rather from the steps of the ambo, 
which was the place always assigned it. The Roman Ordo 
is very explicit on this point. " After the lesson has been 
finished," it says, "let those who are going to sing the 
Gradual and Alleluia stand on the lower step by the pul- 
pit" (i.e., the ambo). The remarks of Cassander regarding 
this are to the same effect. " The responsory," says he, 
"which is said at Mass is called, in contradistinction to 
the others, the Gradual, because this is sung on the steps, 
the others wherever the clergy please" (Bona, p. 325). It 
is called a responsory from the fact that it is a kind of 
reply to the Epistle, after which it is sung to stir up the 
hearts of the people to the salutary truths the latter con- 
tains (Kozma, p. 178). 

The principal literal reason for introducing singing at 
this place was to keep the attention of the people from 
flagging in the interval that elapsed while the procession 
for the chanting of the Gospel was forming (ibid., and 
Romsee, iv. 105). 

The Gradual is made up of two verses taken from the 
Psalms or some other part of Holy Scripture, followed by 
an Alleluia repeated twice, to which is added another verse 
with one Alleluia at the end of it. 

Alleluia. — Alleluia is a Hebrew word translated generally 
by "praise the Lord." Its precise derivation is "allelu," 
to praise with jubilation, and " Jah," one of the names of 
the Almighty. This sacred word was held in so much es- 
teem by the early Christians that it was only pronounced 
on very solemn occasions. St. Jerome tells us in his twenty- 
seventh Epistle that in a convent founded at Jerusalem 
by the pious St. Paula it used to be the signal for assem- 

222 The Celebration of Mass. 

bling all the nuns to their exercises of devotion. To this end 
it used to be chanted along the corridors several times in a 
loud tone of voice. 7 

St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109, 
held a strange opinion regarding the origin of this word. 
According to him, it belonged to no language upon earthy 
•and could not be properly rendered into any one, but 
was altogether angelic in its formation. Cardinal Bona, 
wondering at this strange deception, humorously writes 
(Divina Psalmodia, p. 511) : " Omnis homo aliquid hu- 
manum patitur, et quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus " — 
that is, "Every man has a little of the frailty of human 
nature in him ; even the good Homer sometimes nods." 

During the penitential seasons and on occasions of 
mourning Alleluia is not said, according to the Eoman Eite, 
but in the Mozarabic it is always said even in Masses for the 
dead ; and this is the rule, too, in the Greek Church. 

The Tract.— When the Alleluia is not said, what is known 
as the Tract is added to the Gradual in its place. This 
Tract, which is made up of three or four verses taken from 
the Psalms — though sometimes the entire psalm is recited, 
as on Palm Sunday and Good Friday — derives its name from 
the Latin trahere, to draw, agreeably to which liturgical 
writers inform us that in ancient times it used to be drawn 
out in a slow, measured tone without any interruption what- 
ever on the part of the choir (Eomsee, iv. 105; Durandus, 
Rationale, book iv. chap, xxi.) 

T According to St. Jerome, Almighty God was known to the ancient Hebrews undel 
ten different names, viz. : "El " or*' Al," the Strong One • "Eloah," the Adorable i 
"Adonai" (plural of Adon), the Great Lord,' " Tsabaoth, M God of Hosts j "Jah, 1 ' the 
Ever- Living y "Nghelion," the Most High; "Etohim," Gods (plural form — suggestive, 
as some maintain, of the Blessed Trinity) ; " Havah," He who is/ " Shaddai," the AH 
Mighty ; and " Jehovah," or He who is, was, and will be. This last name the Jews 
would nev«r pronounce, out of the great respect they had for it, but would always us« 
Axlonai ip ts stead. 

Sequences. 223 


On particular occasions of the year there are added imme- 
diately after the Gradual certain rhythmical pieces of com- 
position called by the several names of Proses, Jubilations, 
and Sequences. They are denominated Proses because, 
though written like verse, yet they are destitute of the quali- 
fications that are looked for in regular metrical composi- 
tions, for they are formed more with a view to accent than 
quantity — a very striking characteristic of the poetry of the 
early ages of the Christian Church. The name Jubilations 
was given them from their having been for the most part 
employed on occasions of great solemnity and rejoicing; 
and that of Sequences, or Sequels, from their following the 
Alleluia (Bona, p. 326). Formerly it was customary to pro- 
long the singing after the last note of the Alleluia for 
quite a considerable time, without using any words what- 
ever, but merely the notes themselves. This was what re- 
ceived the name of the Pneuma, or breathing ; and, strictly 
speaking, it was the origin of what we now call Jubila- 
tions or Sequences (ibid.) 

For a considerable time every Sunday in the year, except 
those of the penitential season, had a Sequence of its own, 
as may be seen from any ancient missal, and the rite ob- 
served at Lyons keeps up this custom yet. But as a great 
deal of abuse crept in on account of having to use such a 
multiplicity of Sequences, and as many were carelessly 
written, the Church thought it well to subject the en- 
tire number to a rigid examination, and retain only those 
which were remarkable for their rare excellence. The 
principal step in this matter was first taken by the Coun- 
cil of Cologne, held in a.d. 1536, and its measures were 
seconded by that of Eheims in 1564 ; so that of the entire 
number which obtained in the Church up to these dates five 
only were deemed worthy of a place in the Mass, viz.: 1, 

224 The Celebration of Mass. 

the " Victimse Paschali," proper to Easter; 2, the "Veni 
Sancte Spiritus," proper to Pentecost ; 3, the " Lauda Sion," 
proper to Corpus Christi ; 4, the " Stabat Mater/' proper to 
the Feast of the Seven Dolors of B.V.M. ; 5, the " Dies Irae," 
proper to Masses for the dead. In addition to these it may 
be well to add that which the Friars Minor were allowed to 
retain on the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, the first 
lines of which begin thus (Gavantus, p. 355) : 

" Lauda, Sion, Saivatoris 
Jesu Nomen et Amoris.'* 

Authors of the Sequences. — Much variety of opinion exists 
regarding the authors of these Sequences, but, as we are un- 
able to settle the question, we shall simply name those to 
vhom they have teen attributed from time to time. 

The first, or the " Vidimce Paschali" is, we believe, by 
the vast majority of critics accredited to a monk, Notker by 
name, of the celebrated monastery of St. Gall, in Switzer- 
land, who flourished in the ninth century, and attained to 
much renown by his talent for writing sacred poetry. Ac- 
cording to some, he is said to have been the first who caused 
this species of composition to be introduced into the Mass; 
and, if we are to believe Durandus, he was t couraged in 
this by Pope Nicholas the Great (858-867). Others ascribe 
its introduction to Alcuin, the preceptor of Charlemagne. 
The " Victimse Paschali " is also sometimes attributed to 
Robert, King of the Franks. 

"Veni, Sonde Spiritus." — This beautiful hymn is gene- 
rally accredited to the Blessed Hermann, usually styled Con- 
tractus, or the Cripple, from the deformity of his limbs. As 
the early history of this remarkable man is very interesting, 
we presume that the reader will not think it amiss if we 
give a brief sketch of it, as it bears much upon our subject : 
"Hermannus Contractus, the son of Count Weringen, in 


Livonia, was, at the age of fourteen, sent to the monastery 
of St. G-all to be educated. He was lame and contracted in 
body, and made little progress in learning on account of his 
slowness of mind. Hilperic, his master, seeing how bitterly 
he bewailed his misfortunes, pitied him, and advised him to 
apply himself to prayer, and to implore the assistance of the 
Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God. Hermannus obeyed his 
master, and about two years after thought he saw the holy 
Virgin one night whilst he was asleep, and that she thus ad- 
dressed him : ' good child ! I have heard your prayers, 
and at your request have come to assist you. Now, there- 
fore, choose whichever of these two things you please, and 
you shall certainly obtain it : either to have your body 
cured, or to become master of all the science you desire. ' 
Hermannus did not hesitate to prefer the gifts of the mind 
to those of the body, and such from this period was his pro- 
gress in human and divine science that he was esteemed 
the most learned of his contemporaries. He excelled them 
all in philosophy, rhetoric, astronomy, poetry, music, and 
theology ; composed books upon geometry, music, and as- 
tronomy, the eclipses of the sun and moon, the astrolabe, 
the quadrant, the horologue, and quadrature of the circle ; 
wrote commentaries on Aristotle and Cicero ; translated 
some Greek and Arabic works into Latin; composed a 
chronicle from the creation of the world to the year 1052, a 
treatise on physiognomy, and several hymns, amongst which 
the 'Salve Regina,' 'Alma Redemptoris.' and f Veni, Sancte 
Spiritus ' are enumerated. He died in 1054, aged forty-one 
years" (Dublin Review, vol. xxx., June, 1851; Gavantus, 
ii. p. 166). The "Veni, Sancte Spiritus" is also ascribed 
to Pope Innocent III., to St. Bonaventure, and to Robert, 
King of the Franks. 

" Lauda Sion." — All are unanimous in ascribing this to 
the " Angelic Doctor," St. Thomas Aquinas, who, at the re- 

226 The Celebration of Mass, 

quest of Pope Urban IV., composed it for the solemnity of 
Corpus Christi, of which we have already spoken at length. 
" fitabat Mater." — A good deal of dispute has arisen 
regarding the author of this sublime production, some as- 
cribing it to Pope Innocent III., some to Jacoponi (1306) — 
sometimes called Jacobus de Benedictis, a Franciscan monk 
— and others to St. Bonaventure. We follow the majority, 
however, in ascribing it to Pope Innocent III. To our 
mind Jacoponi's claims to this hymn are not very strong ; 
and if there were no other reason to justify our opinion 
but that founded on his hymn for Christmas morning, 
beginning with 

" Stabat Mater speciosa 
Juxta foenum gaudiosa 
Dum jacebat parvulus," 

we think that would be sufficient. 

"Dies Ira." — The authorship of the "Dies Irae" seems 
the most difficult to settle. This much, however, is certain : 
that he who has the strongest claims to it is Latino Orsini, 
generally styled Frangipani, whom his maternal uncle, 
Pope Nicholas III. (Gaetano Orsini), raised to the cardinal- 
ate in 1278. He was more generally known by the name 
of Cardinal Malabranca, and was at first a member of the 
Order of St. Dominic (see Dublin Review, vol. xx., 1846 ; 
Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Bit., p. 490). 

As this sacred hymn is conceded to be one of the grandest 
that has ever been written, it is but natural to expect that 
the number of authors claiming it would be very large. 
Some even have attributed it to Pope Gregory the Great, 
who lived as far back as the year 604. St. Bernard, too, is 
mentioned in connection with it, and so are several others ; 
but as it is hardly necessary to mention all, we shall only 

Sequences, 22? 

say that, after Cardinal Orsini, the claims to it on the part 
of Thomas de Celano, of the Order of Franciscans Minor, 
are the greatest. There is very little reason for attributing 
it to Father Humbert, the fifth general of the Dominicans, 
in 1273 ; and hardly any at all for accrediting it to Augus 
tinus de Biella, of the Order of Augustinian Eremites. A 
Very widely circulated opinion is that the " Dies Irae" as it 
stands now is but an improved form of a Sequence which 
was long in use before the age of any of those authors whom 
we have cited. Gavantus gives us, at page 490 of his The' 
saurus of Sacred Bites, a few stanzas of this ancient Se- 
quence, which we deem well to place before the reader : 

" Cum recordor moriturus, 
Quid post mortem sim futurus, 
Terror terret me venturus, 
Quern expecto non securus: 
Terret dies me terroris. 
Dies irae, ac furoris, 
Dies luctus, ac mceroris, 
Dies ultrix peccatoris, 
Dies irae, dies ilia," etc., etc. 

As late as 1576 the " Dies Irse" was forbidden to be said 
by the Dominicans of Salamanca, in Spain. Maldonatus, 
also, the great Jesuit commentator, objected to its use in 
Masses for the dead, for the reason that a composition of 
that kind was unsuited to mournful occasions. Others, too, 
made similar complaints against it. To repeat what learned 
critics of every denomination under heaven have said in 
praise of this marvellous hymn would indeed be a difficult 
task. One of its greatest encomiums is that there is hardly 
a language in Europe into which it has not been translated ; 
it has even found its way into Greek and Hebrew — into 

228 The Celebration of Mass. 

the former through an English missionary of Syria named 
Hildner, and into the latter by Splieth, a celebrated Orien- 
talist. Mozart avowed his extreme admiration of it, and so 
did Dr. Johnson, Sir Walter Scott, and Jeremy Taylor, be- 
sides hosts of others. The encomium passed upon it by 
Schaff is thus given in his own words : " This marvellous 
,hymn is the acknowledged masterpiece of Latin poetry and 
the most sublime of all uninspired hymns. The secret of 
its irresistible power lies in the awful grandeur of the 
theme, the intense earnestness and pathos of the poet, the 
simple majesty and solemn music of its language, the stately 
metre, the triple rhyme, and the vocal assonances, chosen in 
striking adaptation — all combining to produce an over- 
whelming effect, as if we heard the final crash of the 
universe, the commotion of the opening graves, the trumpet 
of the archangel summoning the quick and the dead, and 
saw the King of ' tremendous majesty' seated on the throne 
of justice and mercy, and ready to dispense everlasting life 
or everlasting woe " (see Latin Hymns, vol. i. p. 292, by 
Professor March, of Lafayette College, Pa.) The music 
of this hymn formed the chief part of the fame of Mozart ; 
and it is said, and not without reason, that it contributed 
in no small degree to hasten his death, for so excited did 
he become over its awe-enkindling sentiments while writing 
his celebrated " Mass of Requiem " that a sort of minor 
paralysis seized his whole frame, so that he was heard to 
say : " I am certain that I am writing this Requiem for 
myself. It will be my funeral service." He never lived 
to finish it ; the credit of having done that belongs to 
Sussmayer, a man of great musical attainments, and a most 
intimate friend of the Mozart family (Dublin Review, vol. 
L, May, 1836). 

The allusion to the sibyl in the third line of the first 
stanza has given rise to a good deal of anxious enquiry ; and 

Sequences, 229 

so very strange did it sound to Frencn ears at its introduc- 
tion into the sacred hymnology of the Church that the 
Parisian rituals substituted in its place the line " Orucis 
expandens vexilla." The difficulty, however, is easily over- 
come if we bear in mind that many of the early Fathers 
held that Almighty God made use of these sibyls to promul- 
gate his truths in just the same way as he did of Balaam of 
old, and many others like him. The great St. Augustine 
has written much on this subject in his City of God; and 
the reader may form some idea of the estimation in which 
these sibyls were held when he is told that the world-re- 
nowned Michael Angelo made them the subject of one of his 
greatest paintings. In the Sistine Chapel at Rome may 
yet be seen his celebrated delineation of both the sibyl of 
Erythrea and that of Delphi. In the opinion of the ablest 
critics it was the first-mentioned, or the Erythrean sibyl, 
that uttered the celebrated prediction about the advent of 
our Divine Lord, and his final coming at the last day to 
judge the living and the dead. This prediction, it is said, 
was given in verse, and written as an acrostic on one of the 
ancient designations of our Divine Lord in Greek — viz., 
ixOvZ, ichthus, a fish, referring to our spiritual regene- 
ration through the efficacy of the saving waters of holy 
Baptism established by our Saviour for our sakes. The 
letters of this word when taken separately form the initials 
of the sacred name and official character of our Divine Lord, 
thus: "I" stands for Jesus ; " X" for Christ; "@" for 
Theos, or God; " T" for TioS, or Son; and "2" for 
GGjTrip, or Saviour — that is, " Jesus Christ, Son of God, 
the Saviour." The part of the sibyl's response which re- 
ferred particularly to the Day of Judgment was written 
on the letters of Soter, or Saviour. It is given as follows 
in the translation of the City of God of St. Augustine 
(edited by Clarke, of Edinburgh, 1871): 

230 The Celebration of Mass. 

" /Sounding, the archangel's trumpet shall peal down from heaven 
Over the wicked who groan in their guilt and their manifold sorrows ; 
trembling, the earth shall be opened, revealing chaos and hell. 
Jivery king before God shall stand on that day to be judged; 
iftvers of fire and of brimstone shall fall from the heavens." 

There are in all twenty-seven lines. 

The " Stabat Mater," too, deserves more than a mere pass- 
ing notice, for, in the estimation of able critics, it is one of 
the most pathetic hymns ever written. Hogarth called it 
"a divine emanation of an afflicted and purified spirit," and 
the encomiums lavished upon it by other men of genius are 
numberless. As far as concerns its musical merits, the chief 
credit is due to Pergolesi and Rossini, both of whom im- 
mortalized themselves in their rendition of it. 

The precise merits of the " Lauda Sion " lie in this : that 
it is one of the most able theological exegeses that have ever 
been written on the doctrine of the Real Presence. Every 
possible objection that could be raised concerning the 
Blessed Sacrament is comprehended in it. 

Sequences of the Oriental Church. — By way of compensat- 
ing for the entire absence of all instrumental music from the 
service of the Oriental Church, sacred hymnology is made to 
act a far more conspicuous part there than it is with us. 
Not a Mass is celebrated without at least half a dozen of 
Troparia, as they are called, nearly all of which end with a 
doxology in honor of the Mother of God, to whom, as we 
have already said, the Orientals are very devout. To give 
the reader an idea of the intrinsic beauty of some of the 
Oriental Sequences, we copy the following, inscribed "for a 
Sunday of the First Tone." It, of course, is written and 
sung in Greek, and the work from which we copy it 
(Hymns of the Eastern Church, by Rev. Dr. Neale) ascribes 
it to St. Anatolius, a.d. 458. It refers to that scene on the 
Sea of Galilee where the disciples are out in a boat and our 

"Munda cor meum" 231 

Lord comes to them walking upon the waters (Matthew 
xiv.) : 

" Fierce was the wild billow, 

Dark was the night ; 
Oars labored heavily, 

Foa-m glimmeied white 
Trembled the mariners, 

Peril was nigh ; 
Then said the God of God, 

1 Peace ! it is V 

Eidge of the mountain-wave. 

Lower thy crest ! 
Wail of Euroclydon, 

Be thou at rest I 
Sorrow can never be, 

Darkness must fly, 
"Where saith the Light of Light, 

'Peace I it is I.' 

Jesu, Deliverer I 

Come thou to me 
Soothe thou my voyaging 

Over life's sea I 
Thou, when the storm of death 

Roars sweeping by, 
Whisper, Truth of Truth t 

'Peace! it is I.'" 


After the Epistle and the responses following it have been 
read, the priest goes to the middle of the altar, and, having 
bowed profoundly, recites the prayer " Munda cor meum," 
by which he begs of God to purify his heart and lips, as he 
did those of Isaias of old, in order that he may announce 
the good truths of the Gospel in a befitting manner. In 
the meantime the missal is removed by the server from the 

232 The Celebration of Mass. 

Epistle to the Gospel side, and so placed that the priest maj 
be a little turned towards the congregation while reading 
it, and this to preserve a vestige of the ancient custom oi 
reading the Holy Evangel from the ambo in the hearing and 
sight of all. 

The literal or natural meaning of removing the missal at 
this place is that the Epistle corner of the altar may be 
entirely free for receiving the gifts presented and placed 
there by the people at the Offertory, and to make room for 
the paten, which in former times was much larger than it 
is now (Romsee, iv. 107 ; Kozma, p. 182). Mystically, this 
ceremony is intended to remind us of the translation of 
the word of God from the Jews, represented by the Epistle 
side, to the Gentiles, represented by the Gospel side, in 
accordance with what is said by SS. Paul and Barnabas in 
the Acts of the Apostles (xiii. 46) : " To you it behoved u? 
first to speak the word of God ; but because you reject it, 
and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we 
turn to the Gentiles." The bringing back of the missal 
afterwards denotes the final return of the Jews to Chris- 
tianity at the preaching of Enoch and Elias (Durandus, 
Rationale, p. 195). 

"We have said that the Missal is placed at the Gospel side, 
a little turned towards the congregation, and that this ia 
with a view to preserve a vestige of the ancient practice of 
reading the Gospel from the ambo. As it may be objected 
that the Epistle, too, was formerly read there, and why not 
now be read as the Gospel is ? we reply by saying that 
whenever the Epistle was read from the ambo it was 
always from an inferior stand to that set apart for the 
Gospel, generally from the steps themselves, and always 
facing the altar ; for it was not, at its introduction into the 
Mass, designed so much for the instruction of the people as 
the Gospel was, nor did it ever occupy the same place of 

Tlie Gospel 233 

honor, although the honor shown it was very great (Mar- 
tene, De Antiquis Eccl Ritibus, f. 24). 


When the priest has arrived at the missal after the prayer 
"Munda cor meum," he pronounces in an audible tone the 
salutation, " Dominus vobiscum," without, however, turn- 
ing to the people — for he is partly turned already — and then 
announces the title of the Gospel he is going to read. To- 
gether with doing so he makes the sign of the cross vith his 
thumb on the missal itself at the beginning of the Gospel, 
and then upon himself in three separate places- viz., on 
the forehead, mouth, and breast respectively. That made 
upon the book is intended to teach us that the Holy Gospel 
contains the words of Him who died upon the cross for oui 
salvation; that made upon the forehead is intended to 
remind us that we must never be ashamed of the Word of 
God, for our Lord himself says : " He who is ashamed of 
me and of my words, of him shall the Son of Man be 
ashamed when he shall come in his majesty" (Luke ix. 26) ; 
and the cross upon the breast reminds us of the holy ad- 
monition in the Canticle of Canticles : " Put me as a seal 
upon thy heart " (chap, viii.) (For other mystical mean- 
ings see Durandus, p. 202.) When the priest has announced 
the title of the Gospel, the server answers : " Gloria tibi, 
Domine"— Glory be to thee, Lord— and the congregation 
sign themselves after the manner of the priest. The re- 
sponse, " Glory be to thee, Lord," is made to thank God 
for the spiritual blessings contained in the holy Gospel. 
The Acts of the Apostles, chap. xiii. 48, tell us how the 
Gentiles glorified the word of God, and expressed their 
heartfelt thanks to SS. Paul and Barnabas for having 
brought them the salutary truths which the Jews rejected. 

Standing up at the Gospel.— At the reading of the Holy 

234 The Celebration of Mass. 

Gospel all stand up out of respect for the sacred words of 
our Divine Lord, as well as to testify their readiness to fol- 
low out all that the Gospel teaches. This custom is very 
ancient, as we find the Jews observed it when Esdras the 
Scribe read them the Law after the return from the Baby* 
Ionian captivity (2 Esdras, viii. 4). When the custom was 
in vogue of bringing staves to church for the purpose of 
leaning on them during certain parts of the service, their 
use was never permitted during the reading of the Holy 
Gospel. They were at that time to be put aside, and with 
them all insignia of royalty, such as sceptres, crowns, and 
things of that sort, in order that all might appear in the 
humble posture of servants before the Lord (Bona, p. 328 ; 
Romsee, p. 114). Certain military knights, and among 
others the Knights of St. John, 8 were accustomed to un- 
sheath their swords at this place, as evidence of their readi- 
ness to defend the interests of the sacred words even unto 
the shedding of blood (Bona, ibid.) 

When the priest has finished reading the Gospel he kisses 
the sacred text out of reverence for the words of our Lord — 
for the Gospel is pre-eminently " Christ's Book," as it used 
to be styled in ancient times — and as he performs this act he 
says : " In virtue of the evangelical words may our sins be 
blotted out." The Carthusians kiss the margin of the mis- 
sal instead of the text itself. Should some great dignitary 

8 The Knights of St. John, established first at Jerusalem about the year 1098, wens 
also known by the several names of Hospitalers, from the fact that their first house 
was a hospital specially built for the care of the sick ; Knights of Rhodes, from their 
temporary residence in that island ; and Knights of Malta, from their last stronghold 
at Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea. They exist no longer as a distinctive military 
body, but several yet bearing the name, and observing to a great extent their original 
vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, may be met with throughout Italy, England, 
and other parts of Europe, and their honorary grand-master has a right to the high 
title of " Most Eminent." Their patron saint is St. John the Baptist ; and their badge 
a white cross, with eight points in it, in memory of the eight beatitudes (see Lives 
Of the Saint*, vol. i. 571, note ; Ferraris. Bibliotheca : Knights of Malta, bp Taafle), 

The Gospel 235 

be present in the sanctuary, it is the rule to present him the 
book first, in which case the priest celebrating would not 
kiss it at all. In ancient times not only did the priest kiss 
the book at this stage of the Mass, but every member of the 
congregation did so (Bona, p. 329). In the Sarum Eite a 
special codex was set apart for this purpose ( Church of Our 
Fathers, iii. 192). The custom of kissing documents of im- 
portance is very ancient, and prevails yet in the majority of 
royal courts, especially in those of the East. Those that 
come direct from our Holy Father the Pope are always 
shown this mark of respect ; and that the pious practice of 
kissing not only the book of the Gospels, but almost every 
utensil in the house of God, even the very door-posts 
and pillars, was generally observed by the primitive Chris- 
tians we learn from numerous sources (Riddle, Christian 
Antiquities, p. 739 ; Life of Cardinal Ximenes, by Hefele, 
p. 37). 

At the conclusion of the Gospel the server answers, " Laus 
tibi, Christe"— " Praise be to thee, Christ ! "—but in the 
Mozarabic Rite the old custom of answering "Amen" at 
this place is yet kept up (see Liturgia Mozarabica, ed. 
Migne). Another ancient custom — viz., that of making 
the sign of the cross here — is still retained by the Carmel- 

At Solemn High Mass. — At Solemn High Mass, where the 
Gospel is chanted in a loud tone of voice, the ceremonies 
are imposing and full of deep meaning : As soon as the 
celebrant has passed from the middle of the altar, after the 
" Munda cor meum," to the Gospel side, the deacon receives 
from the master of ceremonies the book of the Holy Evan- 
gels, which he carries to the altar with much reverence, and 
places in front of the tabernacle in a horizontal position. 
He does not return immediately, but remains there to assist 
the celebrant at the blessing of the incense for the forth- 

236 The Celebration of Mass, 

coming procession. The incense having been put in the 
censer and blessed, the deacon descends one step and recites 
the prayer " Munda cor meum," at the conclusion of which 
he rises from his knees, and, having taken the book from 
the altar, kneels down with it before the celebrant and asks 
the latter to bless him. Having received the blessing, he 
kisses the celebrant's hand, and then descends to the floor, 
where he awaits the signal for the procession to move to that 
part of the Gospel side of the sanctuary where the Holy 
Evangel is chanted. A full corps of acolytes with lighted 
candles, incense, etc., head the procession, and the deacon, 
walking immediately behind the subdeacon, moves in a slow 
and dignified manner, carrying the sacred codex elevated 
before his face. This is afterwards given to the subdeacon, 
who holds it resting against his forehead during the entire 
time of chanting. Havkig given the usual salutation of 
" Dominu8 vobiscum," and announced the title of the Gos- 
pel, the deacon receives the thurible, or censer, and incenses 
the book in three different places — viz., in the centre, at the 
right, and at the left. He then chants the text in a loud 
tone of voice, and, having finished, receives the censer again 
and incenses the celebrant at the altar, who stood facing the 
Gospel the whole time that the deacon was chanting it. 

Explanation. — The taking of the book of the Gospels 
from the altar is intended to remind us, according to Pope 
Innocent III., that the law has come forth from Sion, and 
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem ; not so much the law 
of Moses, but the law of the New Covenant, of which the 
prophet Jeremias wrote: "Behold the days shall come," 
saith the Lord, " and I will make a New Covenant with 
the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda. ... I 
will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their 
heart, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people | 
(chap, xxxi.) The deacon, kneeling at the feet of th« 

The Gospel 237 

priest in the manner of an humble suppliant to receive his 
blessing, teaches us the necessity of first asking permission 
to preach the Gospel, and then a blessing for the sacred work 
in order that it may produce the proper fruit. To take 
upon ourselves the heavy onus of preaching without having 
been divinely called to that sacred office would be to incur 
God's wrath, and, instead of a blessing, draw down his con- 
demnation. The Apostle St. Paul lays particular stress upon 
the necessity of receiving a special call to discharge this 
duty (Romans, chap, x.) Then, again, this taking of the ?v 
book from the altar and reading it aloud in the hearing 
of the people forcibly recalls to mind what Moses did of old 
on Sinai, whence he brought down the tables of the law and 
read them before the chosen people at the mountain's edge. 
The subdeacon goes before the deacon to the place where the 
Gospel is chanted to remind us that John the Baptist, whose 
ministry the Epistle, and consequently the subdeacon, typi- 
fies, went before our Lord, who is represented by the Gospel 
(Durandus, p. 199). Incense is used on this occasion to 
commemorate what St. Paul says (2 Cor. ii.), that we are 
the good odor of Christ unto God in every place. Antf 
lighted candles are employed to testify our joy at receiving 
the glad Gospel tidings, as well as to show our respect for 
Him who is the " Light of the World" (Innocent III., 
Sacrif. Miss., p. 141). Finally, the Gospel is chanted at the 
corner of the sanctuary, with the sacred text facing the 
north, to show that the preaching of our Lord was specially 
directed against Lucifer, who said, "I will establish my seat 
in the north, and will be like the Most High" (Isaias ; 
ibid.) When, according to the ancient discipline, the Gos- 
pel was chanted from those elevated pulpits called amboes, 
it was in remembrance of that sacred admonition of our 
Lord to his disciples when he charged them regarding the 
ministry of the word. "That which I tell you in the 

238 The Celebration of Mass. 

dark," said he, " speak ye in the light ; and that which you 
hear in the ear, preach ye on the housetops " {Matthew x. ; 
Durandus, Rationale, p. 200). The last-named author speaks 
of the custom that prevailed in his day (thirteenth century) 
of chanting the Gospel from the eagle, referring to the ap- 
purtenance in the shape of this bird that used to be em- 
ployed in the embellishment of the ancient book-stands, 
and this with a view to the fulfilment of the words, " He 
flew upon the wings of the wind" (Ps. xvii.) ; for the wings 
of the eagle are aptly compared to the wings of the wind, as 
that bird can ^y highest of all the feathered race, and the 
Gospel is the highest of all the inspired writings. For 
many other interesting facts about what we have been 
speaking the reader is referred to Durandus, chap, xxiv., 
Rationale Divinorum. 

Respect shown to the Gospels in Ancient Times. — The re- 
Bpect shown to the Gospels in ancient times is evinced from 
the fact that the sacred codex used to be bound in massive 
covers of gold, silver, and precious stones, as we learn from 
many sources. The cases, too, in which the sacred volumes 
used to be enclosed when not in use, were made of the cost- 
liest materials, often of beaten gold, and the most exquisite 
workmanship was displayed in finishing them (Kozma, p. 
105). Dr. Eock (Church of Our Fathers, iii. 31) tells us 
that sheets of gold, studded with large pearls and precious 
stones, were not thought too good to be the binding of these 
books, and that their printing used to be often in letters 
of gold upon a purple ground. At all great ecclesiastical 
meetings the holy Gospels were assigned a very conspicu- 
ous position. At the General Council of Ephesus, held in 
the Church of St. Mary in that city a.d. 431, the book of 
the Gospels was placed upon an elevated throne in view of 
all the assembled Fathers (Bona, p. 329). At a Solemn 
High Mass celebrated by the Pope the Epistle and Gospel 

The Gosper 239 

are first chanted in Latin, then in Greek, to express the 
union of the two churches (Kozma, p. 183). 

The Gospel in the Oriental Church. — The ceremonies at- 
tending the reading of the Gospel in the East resemble our 
own very closely. In the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom the 
deacon, kneeling down at the feet of the celebrant before 
the procession moves, asks the customary blessing in these 
words : " Sir, bless the preacher of the holy Apostle and 
Evangelist N." (here the name of the Gospel is mentioned) ; 
then the priest, making the sign of the cross upon him, 
says : " May God, through the preaching of the holy and 
glorious Apostle and Evangelist N., give the word with 
much power to thee, who evangelizest to the accomplishment 
of the Gospel of his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. " 
After this the procession moves to the ambo, and everything 
goes on much in the same way as with ourselves at Solemn 
High Mass. With the Abyssinians, the deacon makes a cir- 
cuit of the entire church at this place, saying with a loud 
voice as he goes along : " Arise ! hear the Gospel and the 
good tidings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." This 
circuit is intended to signify the promulgation of the Gos- 
pel by the Apostles throughout the entire globe, in accord- 
ance with the sacred text, "Their sound has gone forth 
into every land, and their words unto the end of the world " 
(Ps. xviii. 5). 

The Copts, instead of making the circuit of the church in 
this way, go around the altar in a procession, headed by an 
immense number of acolytes and other ministers bearing 
torches and incense. The display is very imposing. x\fter 
the Gospel has been chanted it is first kissed by the clergy, 
it is then covered with a silken veil and presented to be 
kissed by the people (Renaudot, Liturg. Orient., i. 190). It 
is customary also with the Coptic prelates, should any be 
present, to put aside their mitres and crosiers at this time, 

240 The Celebration of Mass. 

and remain slightly bowed down during the entire chant- 

The Greek bishops, besides rising up to hear the holy 
Evangel, also put aside their omophorion, 9 testifying there- 
by, according to St. Simeon of Thessalonica, their total sub- 
3ction to the Lord (Goar, Euchol. Grcec, p. 223). 

9 The omophorion of the Greeks serves the same end as our pallium, only that it is 
common to every bishop, instead of being restricted to archbishops, as with us. Like 
the pallium it is made of wool, but is much broader, and, instead of hanging down 
freely, is fastened round the neck in a knot. It is usually ornamented with silver and 
silken threads, and symbolizes the " Lost Sheep " (Neale, Holy Eastern Church, i. 312 ; 
Komanoff, Greco- Russian Church, p. 400). 



According to the present discipline of the Church, regu- 
lated in a great measure by the General Council of Trent, it 
is required that at every parochial Mass on Sundays and 
holydays of obligation a sermon touching the great truths 
of our holy faith should be preached to the people. To do 
this the more effectually it is recommended to follow the 
line of thought expressed in the Gospel of the day, as it is 
the wish of the Church that this portion of the sacred 
writings should be carefully expounded and developed in all 
its bearing. 

The custom of thus preaching at Mass is of the highest 
antiquity, the ablest critics maintaining that it is of aposto- 
lic origin ; and the Holy Scriptures themselves would seem 
to warrant this assertion. St. Justin Martyr (a.d. 167) tells 
us in his Apology, i. 67, that it was the practice in his 
day to read portions of the Sacred Scriptures first in the 
assemblies of the people, and then explain their application 
and meaning afterwards. The ancient Hebrews always 
preached to the people after the reading of the Sepher Tora 9 
or book of the Law (Bannister, Temples of the Hebrews, 
p. 351). 


Whenever the bishop presided, as used to be the case in 
nearly all the cathedral churches, the duty of preaching 


242 The Sermon. 

devolved upon him. This duty was, indeed, regarded in 
early times as so peculiar to a bishop that whenever a priest 
addressed the people in any public church it was looked 
upon as a sort of great concession and favor. "Episcopi 
proprium munus," says St. Ambrose (De Off. Sac, lib. i. 
c. i.), " docere populum" — "It is the peculiar office of the 
Jbishop to teach the people " ; and St. Chrysostom, com- 
menting on this faculty, says that the bishop who does not 
possess it should be deposed from his office (Rom. x. in I. 
Ep. ad Tim.) 

During the prevalence of the early heresies, the greatest 
care was taken to see that no one should ascend the pulpit 
unless he possessed the rarest qualities as a preacher and 
theologian. This was especially the case when the heresy of 
Arius broke out. So dangerous was this considered to be 
that it was thought well all through the East to confine 
preaching solely to bishops, and forbid priests under severe 
penalties to take upon themselves this task. The Council of 
Chalcedon (a.d. 451), as is well known, interdicted preach- 
ing to monks, on account of the fall of Eutyches, one of the 
heads of this body (Comment, in Pontif. Bomanum, Cata- 
lani ; Muhlbauer, i. 133). 


Although the ancient Fathers were very strict on the sub- 
ject of preaching, and always insisted on having it entrusted 
to men of tried ability and worth among the higher grades 
of the hierarchy, still we find a little relaxation of this rigor 
in certain rare cases ; for not only did members of the in- 
ferior orders of the clergy discharge this duty, but even 
those who were not ranked among the clergy at all. The 
celebrated Origen, as we learn from Eusebius, preached fre- 
quently in Jerusalem while yet a layman ; and we are assured 
by the same author that this permission was also granted 013 

Posture of the Preacher* 243 

certain occasions to Constantine the Great (De Vita Const., 
lib. iv. c. xxix.-xxxiv.) 


The behavior of the people during the sermon was nearly 
always of the most edifying kind. Sometimes a little inat- 
tention or carelessness would be observed in some, while 
others in rare instances might be seen engaged in frivolous 
conversation. Whenever this was noticed it was the duty 
of the deacon to stand up in the sanctuary and call for at- 
tention and order by exclaiming: "Silentium habete !" — 
" Keep silence." St. Ambrose had frequent occasion to give 
this order at Milan, and many bitter complaints did he make 
of the people of that city for their want of propriety in this 


As a general rule, the preacher stood while delivering his 
sermon, and this generally in* the sanctuary. The custom 
of preaching from the ambo, where the Gospel used to be 
read, is said to have been introduced by St. John Chrysos- 
tom (Socrates, Hist, Eccles., lib. vi. c. v.; Sozomen, Hist. 
EccL, viii. v.) "When, through feebleness of health or other 
causes, the preacher could not stand, he was allowed to sift 
upon a chair. This practice was often resorted to by St. 
Augustine in his declining years, and many of the early Fa- 
thers rather favored it, even when there was no special need 
of having recourse to it, in memory of our Lord's Sermon on 
the Mount. Bishops of the present day observe this prac- 
tice yet in many places. But, whether the preacher stood 
or sat, the general rule was, as we learn from St. Gregory 
Nazianzen, Eusebius, and St. Chrysostom, that the people of 
the congregation should stand. Whenever the preacher 
said anything that deserved special approbation slight indi- 

244 Tlie Sermon. 

cations of appreciation used to be manifested, such as bow- 
ing the head, making gestures with the hands, sometimes 
even clapping the hands or waving the garments. The 
people were so carried away upon one occasion by the gol- 
den eloquence of St. Chrysostom that they cried out with 
one acclaim : " Thou art worthy of the priesthood ; thou 
art the thirteenth apostle ; Christ hath sent thee to save 
our souls " (Riddle, Christian Antiquities, p. 455). 

The custom of offering up a short prayer before the ser- 
mon was observed by the early Fathers. Sometimes this 
was nothing more than an ejaculation or a salutation to 
the people, under such forms as "Peace be to you," "May 
God bless you," " The Lord be with you " (ibid.) The cus- 
tom now in vogue in many countries, especially in France, 
of saying a "Hail Mary," or some other prayer to Our 
Blessed Lady, was introduced by St. Vincent Ferrer in the 
fifteenth century as a protest against the indignities of- 
fered the Mother of God by the heretics of that time (see 
Manahan's Triumph of the Catholic Church). 

Regarding the delivery of the sermon the ancient Fathers 
were very exact. Earnestness on the part of the preacher 
and sympathy with his people were looked upon as the great 
redeeming features of every discourse. Too much gesticula- 
tion was always severely reprehended ; and if the preacher 
manifested any signs of levity in the pulpit, or indulged in 
any actions which were not considered entirely in keeping 
with the dignity of the place and occasion, he was at once 
commanded to desist, and silence was imposed upon him 
ever afterwards. It is said of the heretic Paul of Samosata 
that he carried gesticulation so far as to stamp the pulpit 
with his feet, beat his thighs with his bands, and act while 
preaching in a most unbecoming manner, for which reason 
the Council of Antioch, in a.d. 272, bitterly complained of 
him to Pope Dionysius, the reigning pontifE, 

Influence of the Discipline of the Secret on Preaching. 245 


We wish here to call the particular attention of the reader 
to a fact which is too often lost sight of in treating of the 
customs of the early Church. We refer to the Disciplina 
Arcani, as it was called, or the Discipline of the Secret, in 
virtue of which the principal mysteries of our holy faith and 
the nature of many of the public prayers of the Church were 
carefully concealed from all who were not considered as be- 
longing to the household of faith, and this with a view to 
follow out to the letter that sacred admonition of our Divine 
Lord himself, viz.: not to "cast pearls before swine or 
give what was holy to dogs." "The mysteries," says St. 
Athanasius, " ought not to be publicly exhibited to the un- 
initiated, lest the Gentiles, who understand them not, scoff 
at them, and the catechumens, becoming curious, be scan- 
dalized" (Apol. contra Arian., p. 105). 

The caution which was to be observed during the preva- 
lence of this discipline — which, as we have said in another 
place, lasted during the first five centuries — influenced the 
preachers of those days very considerably, from the fact 
that their audiences were often made up of Jews, Gentiles, 
pagans, and others who were wholly ignorant of the nature 
of our belief, and who would, had they but understood 
it in all its bearings, have made it a pretext for inciting 
fresh persecution. This accounts for the thick veil of mys- 
tification that hung over many of the sermons of the early 
Fathers, and for the abruptness with which several of them 
ended. Many a time did St. Chrysostom break off his 
discourse with some such expression as this : " The initiated 
know what I mean." This he would do if he saw any per- 
sons in the audience who did not belong to the faithful. " I 
wish to speak openly," said he upon a certain occasion while 
addressing his flock, "but I dare not on account of those 

246 The Sermon. 

who are not initiated. These persons render explanation 
more difficult by obliging us to speak in obscure terms or to 
unveil the things that are secret ; yet I shall endeavor, as 
far as possible, to explain myself in disguised terms " {Horn, 
xL in I. Corinth.) Tertullian, who lived in the second 
century under the Emperors Severus and Caracalla, says 
upon this subject: "The profane are excluded from the 
sight of the most holy mysteries, and those are carefully 
selected who are permitted to be spectators" {Apol. adver- 
sus Gentes). 

The extreme reserve of St. Epiphanius (fourth century) 
when speaking upon the Blessed Eucharist is very remark- 
able. Lest he might make use of the slightest expression 
that would be calculated to excite the curiosity of the unini- 
tiated, he has recourse to the following guarded language i 
" We see that our Lord took a thing into his hands, that he 
rose from the table, that he resumed the thing, and, having 
given thanks, said : ' This is that of mine.' " " We should 
rather shed our blood," says St. Gregory Nazianzen, "than 
publish our mysteries to strangers n {Or at., pp. 35 and 42). 

Nor must we omit to mention that during those times 
swift-hand writers (oZvypdcpoi) were sent around in bands 
by the pagans to take down whatever they heard preached 
in the Christian assemblies. Frequent mention of these is 
made by Sozomen and other historians ; and, according to 
the testimony of St. Gregory Nazianzen {Thirty -third Ser-> 
mon), he himself, while preaching, saw men of this kind 
stealing among the people and hiding, so as not to be de- 
tected in their work ; and when they could hear nothing 
worthy of noting they would fabricate something, and often 
make the preacher say what was farthest from his intention. 
St. Gaudentius (427) bitterly inveighed against this clandes- 
tine practice (Riddle, Christian Antiquities, p. 457). 

We have designedly dwelt upon this subject for the reason 

Dismissal of the Catechumens, 247 

that Protestants are fond of saying that the early Fathers 
say little or nothing about the Eeal Presence of our Lord in 
the Holy Eucharist. Let them but remember that until the 
sixth century it was strictly forbidden to teach this doctrine 
openly, in virtue of the Discipline of the Secret, and they 
will cease to be surprised at this prudent silence. The his- 
torian Sozomen had so scrupulous a regard for this sacred 
Discipline that he would not commit to writing the Creed 
framed by the Council of Nicaea in a.d. 325, for this also 
came under the Secret. 


If we are to credit the reports of travellers and tourists, 
preaching in the Oriental Church has gone almost into des- 
uetude, at least among the schismatics ; and at this we 
cannot wonder when we see the superficial training that 
candidates for the sacred ministry there receive. They are 
ordained in some places upon the sole qualification of being 
able to recite a few prayers in addition to the Creed ; and so 
low is their status among the Copts that it has been found 
necessary to print all the rubrics of the missal in Arabic, in 
order that they might know what to do. (For a corrobo- 
ration of this statement concerning the wide-spread igno- 
rance among the Oriental clergy see Smith and Dwight, 
Researches in Armenia, vol. ii. p. 34 et passim.) 

So careless are the Eussians in regard to preaching that 
they entrust the duty not unfrequently to the most illite- 
rate persons, even to laymen, and attach very little impor- 
tance to the orthodoxy of the preacher's views. 


The moment the sermon was ended, or, in the absence of 
a sermon, at the end of the Gospel, the catechumens were 
dismissed from the church, and then the Mass of the Faith- 

248 The Sermon. 

ful began with closed doors. " Ecce post sermonem," says 
St. Augustine, " fit missa catechumenis ; manebunt fide- 
les " — that is, " After the sermon the catechumens are 
dismissed; the faithful will remain" (Sermo 237). To- 
gether with the catechumens were also dismissed the ener* 
gumens, or those troubled with unclean spirits ; the lapsed, 
or those who had denied the faith openly ; public sinners 
whose term of penance had not yet expired ; and, finally, 
Jews, Gentiles, and pagans. As the going out of these 
caused no small commotion in the church in the early days 
— for their number was very great — it was usual to place 
porters at the outer doors to see that the strictest decorum 
was observed, and that nothing was done out of keeping 
with the dignity of the place. The forms of dismissal varied 
with different churches. Sometimes it was, " Si quis est 
catechumenus exeat foras " — " If there be any catechumen 
present let him go out" — at other times, " Catechumens de- 
part ! Catechumens depart 1 " This was vociferated seve- \ 
ral times by the deacon. For a while the phrase used to be, 
" Si quis non communicat det locum " — " If any one does not 
intend to communicate let him depart." We shall see by- 
and-by that all who assisted at Mass in the early days were 
expected to approach Holy Communion, or be considered 
among the excommunicated. According to the Liturgy of 
St. James, the form of dismissal was, " Let none of the cate- 
chumens remain ; let none of the uninitiated, let none of 
those who are not able to join with us in prayer, remain I " 
After which the deacon cried : " The doors ! the doors I 
All upright ! " 

The Mozarabic is the only rite in the Latin Church which 
yet retains in divine service the appellations of " Mass of the 
Catechumens" and "Mass of the Faithful." Neither in 
the East nor in the West are these dismissals anything more 
now than mere commemorations of an ancient practice. 




There are few words that have a greater variety of 
meanings than the word symbol, but there seems to be an 
almost unanimous opinion that its application to the Creed 
has been owing to the fact that it was at its formation 
the joint contribution of the Apostles before their separa- 
tion to evangelize the different portions of the globe. In its 
original acceptation, coming as it does from the Greek 
avv {sun, or syn, with or together) and (3akXco (hallo, 
I throw), it means the portion subscribed by any one in- 
dividual towards some common fund. Thus, with the an- 
cient Romans the part contributed by a person in getting 
up a public dinner or banquet went by this name. The 
application, then, of the term to the Creed is very appro- 
priate, seeing that it has been formed, as the constant tradi- 
tion of the Church and the unanimous consent of the early 
Fathers testify, by the Apostles themselves, from whom it 
derives ifcs name (Bona, Rer. Liturg., p. 330; Divina 
Psalmodia, p. 501). 


At the end of the Missal of St. Columbanus (an Irish 
saint of the sixth century) there is a very curious tract on 
the Creed, which, among other things, assigns the portion 


250 The Celebration Of Mass, 

composed by each of the twelve Apostles. The order is as 

follows : 

1st, St. Peter — / believe in God the Father Almighty, Crea~ 

tor of heaven and earth, 
2d, St. John — And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, 
3d, St. James — Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, bom 

of the Virgin Mary, 
4th, St. Andrew — Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cru- 
cified, dead, and buried, 
5th, St. Philip — He descended into hell. 
6th, St. Thomas — The third day he arose again from the 

7th, St. Bartholomew — He ascended into heaven, and sitteth 

at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. 
8th, St. Matthew — From thence he shall come to judge the 

living and the dead. 
9th, St. James, son of Alphaeus — I believe in the Holy 

10th, St. Simon Zelotes — The Holy Catholic Church, the 

Communion of Saints. 
11th, St. Thaddeus — TJie forgiveness of sins, 
12th, St. Matthias — The resurrection of the body and life 

According to Ferraris, this analysis of the symbol was 
worked out by Duns Scotus, familiarly known as the " Sub- 
tile Doctor " on account of his keen intellect ; but as the 
Missal of St. Columbanus was composed long before the 
thirteenth century, when Scotus flourished, it is not easy to 
eee how he could be accredited with this work. 

As the Creed was one of the public prayers of the Church 
which the catechumens were not allowed to hear, it was not 
recited until they had left the house of God, and prior to 
the Council of Nicaea it was never committed to writing, 
but only confided by word of mouth. This we clearly learn 

Creed of Nicoea, 251 

from St. Cyril among others, who in his catechetical instruc- 
tions (v. 1-12, pp. 77, 78) thus addresses his pupils : " This 
[i.e., the Creed] I wish you to remember in the very phra- 
seology, and to rehearse it with all diligence amongst your- 
selves, not writing it on paper, but graving it by memory on 
your hearts, being on your guard in your exercise lest a cate- 
chumen should overhear the things delivered to you." St. 
Ambrose speaks to the same effect : "This warning I give 
you," says he, "that the symbol ought not to be written " 
(Explanatio Symb. ad Initiandos). 

According to several authors of note, the Apostles' Creed 
was used in the Mass up to the year 325, when that framed 
by the Fathers of the Council of Nicaea superseded it, as 
being more explicit and complete on the dogmas of our 
holy faith (Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Hit., p. 86). 


This was framed in the year 325 at the General Council oi 
Nicaea, a town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, where three 
hundred and eighteen Fathers assembled at the call of Pope 
Sylvester for the purpose of condemning the heretic Arius, 
who denied the divinity of our Lord. 

Among the Fathers present at this famous synod, known 
throughout the East as the " Council of the three hundred 
and eighteen," were several upon whose persons could yet 
be seen the wounds they had received for the faith in the 
previous persecutions. The great Paphnutius, Bishop of 
the Thebaid, was there with his right eye plucked out, and 
his right hand burned into the very socket of the arm, in 
the persecution of Maximilian. So deeply affected was the 
Emperor Constantine the Great at the appearance of this 
saintly hero of the faith that he never took leave of him 
without first having kissed his wounds. Another venerable 
ipectacle was St. Paul of Nova Caesarea, whose two hands 

252 The Celebration of Mass, 

were burned off by order of Licinius. There was present, 
too, the great St. Potamon, Bishop of Heraclea, whose right 
eye was plucked out during another persecution. All these 
venerable men, old and feeble as they were, braved the perils 
of sea and land in order to defend the integrity of the 
apostolic faith against the most daring heresy that was ever- 
broached in the Church. 

The Council; Constantino the Great, etc. — Pope Sylvester 
was the reigning pontiff at this time, but he did not preside 
in person. Vitus and Vincent, priests of Kome, and Hosius, 
Bishop of Cordova, in Spain, represented him. It is gene- 
rally believed that the last-named prelate presided over the 
deliberations of the Fathers ; and there is an almost unani- 
mous agreement among ecclesiastical historians that it was 
he who drew up the famous Creed, which the reader need 
hardly be told was written in Greek. 

Constantine the Great was present a few moments after 
the Fathers had assembled. When his arrival was an- 
nounced all rose to their feet to welcome him, and he was 
forthwith conducted to the magnificent golden throne pre- 
pared for him in the assembly-room. The emperor forbade 
any of his court to follow him, except those who had been 
baptized. The entire scene is so beautifully described by 
Eusebius that we cannot refrain from giving it in full : 
" The emperor appeared as a messenger of God, covered 
with gold and precious stones — a magnificent figure, tall 
and slender, and full of grace and majesty. To this majesty 
he united great modesty and devout humility, so that he 
kept his eyes reverently bent upon the ground, and only sat 
down upon the golden seat which had been prepared for 
him when the bishops gave him the signal to do so. As 
soon as he had taken his place all the bishops took theirs " 
(Vita Constan., iii. p. 10). After the congratulatory ad- 
dress had been delivered to the emperor, the latter in a 

Creed of Mccea. 253 

gentle voice addressed the Fathers. He spoke in Latin, 
which a scribe at his side immediately turned into Greek. 
At the end of the speech the articles touching the heresy of 
Arius were read and examined, and then the heretic himself 
was called to stand at the tribunal. 

Description of Arius, — Arius is described as tall and 
thin, of austere appearance, serious bearing, but yet of very 
fascinating manners. He is represented as a learned man, a 
clever and subtle logician — proud, ambitious, insincere, and 
cunning. St. Epiphanius called him a perfidious serpent. 

What his Error really was. — Like Philo, Arius admitted 
an intermediate being, who, being less than God, was the 
divine organ of the creation of the world, like the gods of 
Plato. Furthermore, he transferred the idea of time which 
rules every human generation to the divine generation, and 
drew from that, as he himself supposed, by logical necessity, 
the proposition that the Son could not be co-eternal with 
the Father. It was precisely this that condemned him. 

Eegarding the celebrated word that the Fathers employed 
as the great weapon of defence against his heresy — viz., 
opioovcrioZ (Homoousios) — a very considerable amount of 
discussion has been set on foot, owing to its different shades 
of meaning, for in its own language it may be interpreted in 
various ways ; nor can it be proved so easily that the Fathers 
of Nicaea intended it to signify, in a theological point of 
view, all that it really does, for it is well known that the 
numerical unity of the three Persons of the Adorable 
Trinity was not defined until the Fourth Council of Late- 
ran, in 1215, condemned the opposite error of the Abbot 

To translate "Homoousios" by consubstantial is not 
enough without considerable explanation, for it is equally 
true that the Son of God is consubstantial with his Blessed 
Mother and with us. His consubstantiality with God the 

254 The Celebration of Mass, 

Father must be something higher. Neither will it do 
to translate it, as may be done, by the same being, for 
this would be the heresy of Sabellius, who maintained that 
the Father and the Son were one and the same person, 
but differing in name only. But although it is not certain 
what the exact ground was that the Fathers of Nicaea in- 
tended to cover by their use of Homoousios, this much we 
know and believe, that no better word could have been 
chosen under the circumstances as a crucial test for the 
heresy of Anus ; and this Arius himself perfectly un- 
derstood, for he moved heaven and earth to escape its 
force. The least ambiguous term for rendering this cele- 
brated word into English is co- eternal, or co-equal, as the 
word consubstantial is very liable to be misinterpreted (see 
Dublin Review, June, 1845, vol. xviii.,. art. "Difficulties of 
the Ante-Nicene Fathers"; Alzog's Church History, vol. i., 
♦'Arian Controversy," translated by Pabisch and Byrne; 
History of the Christian Councils, by Hefele, vol. i. ; and 
Tracts, Theological and Ecclesiastical, by Eev. Dr. New- 

We must remark here that the Nicene Creed had for its 
basis the Apostles' Creed, and that only those clauses were 
added which bore upon the heresy of Arius and his heretical 
predecessors. Another remark, too, that it will not be 
amiss to make is this : that although Arianism at one time 
shook the whole earth to its foundations, still it never 
formed a church of itself, as did Nestorianism and Eutychi- 
anism. There are thousands in the East to-day who belong 
to both of these sects, but not an Arian can be found any- 

We shall now give the principal clauses of the Creed that 
the Fathers of Nicaea inserted in their new symbol of faith, 
as well as the names of the principal heresies against which 
they were directed : 

Creed of Nicoea. 255 

" Qiov akr}Bivov in Qsov aXrjdivov." 

Deum Verum de Deo Vero. 
True God of True God. 

This was inserted against the Arians and Eunomians, both 
of whom denied that our Divine Lord was very God by 
natural property, but only in the same way in which certain 
classes of men are styled gods in the Scripture ; as, for 
instance, in the Eighty-first Psalm. 

" revvrjdevTa ov noir/devra" 
Genitum, non factum. 
Begotten, not made. 

This is to show that our Lord was not a creature, as some 
heretics implied by their phraseology, and others, such as 
Arius, asserted. 

" r O/*oov(Tiov rep liar pi ." 
Consubstantialem Patri. 
Consubstantial with the Father. 

The " ofxoovGio?" as we have said already, was the wea- 
pon which prostrated Arius, for it took from him the last 
prop upon which his heresy rested. Besides his, there 
were also included in the anathema fulminated by this 
council the teachings of the Manichaeans, Basilians, Ebion- 
ites, Simonians, and those of Paul of Samosata. 

" 6V ov ra ndvra eyevero." 
Per quern omnia facta sunt. 
Through whom all things were made. 

Many of the early heretics maintained that God the 
Father was the maker of all things, to the total exclusion of 
the Son, contrary to what our Divine Lord himself says in 
St. John, chapter v.: "What things soever he [i.e., the 

256 The Celebration of Mass. 

Father] doth, these the Son also doth in like manner. " In 
their works ad extra, say theologians, the three divine Per- 
sons are concerned and united. 

" Kai oapKoddevra, Hal ivavQpGonrjGavra" 
Et incarnatus est, et homo f actus est. 
And became incarnate, and was made man. 

This was inserted against the many who maintained that 
our Lord's body was not, strictly speaking, a real human 
body, and that his divinity supplied the place of a human 

According to Cardinal Bona (Rer. Liturg., p. 331), as 
J©on as this famous Creed was promulgated all the churches 
of the East adopted it ; the faithful and the catechumens 
were taught it ; and those who did not profess it openly 
were stigmatized at once as Arians. 


We have just seen how Arius was condemned at Nicaea 
for denying the divinity of our Lord. Another great here- 
tic now started up, Macedonius by name, denying the 
divinity of the Holy Ghost, for which he was condemned at 
the second general council — viz., that of Constantinople, 
held in the year 381. This council was entirely Oriental in 
its nature, and only became general, or oecumenical, 1 by a 
subsequent decree of the Eoman Pontiff, or, as theologians 
say, ex post facto. In the condemnation of Macedonius 
were included also Apollinaris, Bishop of Laodicea, and 
Eunomius, of whom we have spoken already. 

As the Symbol of Faith received an additional accretion 
at this Council, and as it was considered a very important 

1 The word oecumenical, coming from the Greek oixeu (oikeo, to dwell), in its 
original acceptation means habitable * but aa the habitable globe is, in a certain sense, 
ttoe whole world, it has in a secondary way come to mean universal or general. 

When the Nicene Greed became part of the Mass. 257 

one at that period of the Church's existence, it was deemed 
advisable to construct a new Creed on the basis of the 
Nicene, in which the distinctive prerogatives of each of the 
three Persons of the Adorable Trinity would be fully set 
forth. The opinion is almost universal that the composi- 
tion of this Creed was the work of St. Gregory Nazianzen, 
After this had been drawn up and submitted to the council 
for inspection it is said that all the Fathers cried out with 
one acclaim: "This is the faith of all; this is the ortho- 
dox faith; this we all believe" (St. Liguori, History of 
Heresies, i. 84). 

This Creed is more specific, too, than the Nicene on the 
incarnation, death, and resurrection of our Saviour ; for it 
inserts the clauses in italics of " born of the Virgin Mary" 
" suffered under Pontius Pilate" " rose on the third day 
according to the Scriptures." 

In its Latin form the Creed of Nicaea contains in all 
ninety-five words, whilst that of Constantinople has as 
many as one hundred and sixty-seven. The two are fre- 
quently confounded ; and even to-day it is believed by many 
that the Creed we use in the Mass is that which was 
framed at Nicaea. Strictly speaking, it is neither the 
Nicene nor Constantinopolitan, but the one which was 
prepared by the Fathers of the Council of Trent in the 
sixteenth century. Of course we must not be understood as 
saying that this council added anything new to the Creed 
in the way of a dogma. The changes that it made wholly 
respected its grammatical construction (see Ferraris, BiMio- 
theca, art. "Symb.") 


According to Renaudot {Liturg. Orient., i. p. 200), the 
Nicene Creed was introduced into the Mass of the Eastern 
Church immediately after its formation by the "Three 

258 The Celebration of Mass. 

hundred and eighteen," and its recital was never inter- 
rupted. But it did not find its way into the Mass of the 
Western Church at so early a period, for the reason, given by 
some, that this Church never fell into any of the errors 
spoken of, and that, therefore, since its faith was evident to 
all, there was no necessity of making open profession of it. 
Indeed, it may be asserted without fear of contradiction that 
the Nicene Creed, strictly so called, was never recited in the 
Mass of the Western Church ; for when the practice of recit- 
ing one at all came into use, which, according to Pope Ben- 
edict XIV. (Be Sacr. Miss., p. 46), was soon after the year 
471, the Creed was not the Nicene but that of Constanti- 
nople. The custom of singing the Creed at Mass was not, 
according to the same pontiff, introduced into the Roman 
Church until the time of Benedict VIII. (1012-1024), and 
it was only introduced then in order to gratify the most 
earnest wishes of Henry II., Emperor of Germany. Pre- 
vious to this, the Creed was simply recited. 

We have now come to one of the most interesting ques- 
tions that we possibly could be engaged in considering, 
and the most difficult, perhaps, that has ever been raised in 
the Church ; but, inasmuch as we are not writing an ecclesi- 
astical history or dealing with purely dogmatical questions, 
we think our duty will be discharged if we give the reader 
the leading facts of the great controversy that this celebrated 
clause gave rise to. 

We preface our remarks by correcting an error which too 
many have fallen into for want of a thorough examination 
of the case — to wit, that of ascribing the separation of the 
Eastern Church from the Western to the doctrine involved 
in the "Filioque." Every student of ecclesiastical history 
knows that the original cause of this separation was the 

Addition of the " Filioque." 259 

refusal on the part of Rome to acquiesce in the impious 
action of the Emperor Bardas, who thrust into the See 
of Constantinople the audacious Photius, a mere layman, 
in place of St. Ignatius, the legitimate bishop. This 
happened about the year 858, and from this dates the 
separation of the two churches. 9 Photius, finding that 
his sacrilegious act would not be countenanced at Rome, 
moved heaven and earth to stir up as bitter feelings as he 
could between the two churches, and so began to arouse the 
suspicions of the Greeks by representing to them that the 
Latins were favoring the Manichsean heresy, inasmuch as 
they admitted two principles in the Deity ; furthermore, 
that the Latin Church, in holding that the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeded from the Father and the Son, acted contrary to the 
express wishes and declarations of the previous general 
councils, and that, in consequence, it had fallen from the 
faith and become heretical. The Latin Church foresaw from 
the beginning that the state of affairs in the Greek Church 
would eventually take this turn, for the Greeks were always 
hot-headed and difficult to manage ; but she wisely abstained 
from aggravating the case by making any public parade of 
the " Filioque " until things would assume a more tranquil 

It is now very well understood that there never existed 
anything more between these churches on the doctrine in- 
volved in the clause in question than a mere misunderstand- 
ing in regard to some theological technicalities. "The 

a To show how fickle-minded the Greeks were, and how very ill they hore being 
separated from the Western Church, which they well knew contained the centre of 
unity and the divinely-appointed teacher and expositor of all that pertained to faith and 
morals, they sought to be reunited no less than fourteen different times prior to the Gene- 
ral Council of Florence, where the last union between the two churches was effected. 
Unhappily for themselves, none of these unions lasted long. The Greeks returned 
again to their errors, and so they remain to-day, like the <Tews, a spectacle to the rest 
Of mankind 

260 The Celebration of Mass. 

Greeks," says the late Dr. Brownson in an article in the 
Ave Maria of June, 1868, "never denied that the Holy 
Ghost proceeds from the Son as medium ; what they denied 
was — what they understood by the * Filioque ' — that he pro- 
ceeds from the Son as a principle distinct from the Fa- 
ther. . . . There was a misunderstanding between the La- 
tins and the Greeks. The Latins supposed that the Greeks 
excluded the Son, and made the Holy Ghost proceed from the 
Father alone without any participation of the Son, which is 
unquestionably a heresy ; the Greeks, on the other hand, 
supposed that the Latins by their ' Filioque ' represented 
the Holy Ghost as proceeding from the Father and the Son 
as two distinct original principles, which was equally a here- 
sy." The depositions made at the Council of Florence in 
1439 clearly show that both Greeks and Latins were alike 
orthodox on this celebrated question. 

"When the Filioque was inserted. — The reader need hardly 
be told, but we think it well to call his particular atten- 
tion to the fact, that the early ages of the Church and those 
we now live in differ very widely. There were no swift 
ships then to cross the ocean and bear despatches from place 
to place ; nor had such things been heard of as railroads 
and telegraphs. News travelled very slowly ; and things 
went on in their own way, unknown and unobserved by any 
save those in whose locality they occurred. That Kome, the 
centre of unity and orthodoxy, always kept a vigilant watch 
over the whole of Christendom nobody attempts to deny ; 
but as Rome was often very far away, it could not be ex- 
pected that she would become cognizant of local events as 
soon as they occurred. For this reason customs were intro- 
duced into many remote churches and allowed to take deep 
root there before the Holy See even knew of their existence. 
The " Filioque " first took rise in this way, and forced itself 
into the Creed without either the knowledge or consent of 

Addition of the " Filioque." 261 

Rome. The precise date at which this happened remains 
yet among the disputed points — some say in the year 400 ; 
others, 589. All, however, are unanimous in saying that the 
addition, was .first made in Spain ; that thence it made its 
way into France j from France it was introduced into Ger- 
many, and so continued its course until it was deemed 
necessary at last to authorize its -final insertion. 

When the Spanish Church was called upon to answer for 
its conduct in tkis matter, it alleged as a plea that it was 
necessitated to place the divinity of our Lord in as strong a 
light as possible, in order to check the rapid strides that 
Arianism was making in its territories at the hands of the 
Goths and Visigoths, who had then almost undisturbed 
possession of the country, and who were avowed professors 
of this dangerous heresy. As the French Church had some 
misgivings about the propriety of following the example of 
the Spanish in a matter so very delicate, a council was sum- 
moned at Aix-la-Chapelle, in December, 809, by order of 
Charlemagne, to see what steps should be taken. Pope Leo 
III. was the reigning pontiff at the time. The council 
unanimously agreed that the proper way to act was first to 
consult the Holy See and abide by its decision. Bernhar, 
Bishop of Worms, and Adelard, Abbot of Corby, were ac- 
cordingly despatched to the Pope with instructions to ask 
whether it would be pleasing to his Holiness or not to have 
the Church of France, after the example of its Spanish 
sister, add the " Filioque " to the Creed. From the manner 
in which the Holy Father, Pope Leo, acted with the legates 
it is easy to see how displeased he was at learning that any 
Church should dare to tamper with the Creed without the 
supreme authority of the Holy See. He did not say to the 
legates that they might add it, nor did he say that they 
might not. If he said the first, he clearly foresaw the un- 
pleasant results that would ensue when the thing came to 

262 Tlie Celebration of Mass, 

the knowledge of the troublesome Greeks, who would not 
hear of any intermeddling whatever with the Creed of 
Nicaea or Constantinople ; and if he said the second, he 
feared very much that the Spaniards and others might 
accuse him of favoring the Arians. He evaded a direct 
answer by saying to the legates : " Had I been asked 
before the- insertion took place, I should have been against 
it; but now— which, however, I do not say decidedly, but 
merely as discussing the matter with you — as far as I see 
both things may thus be accomplished : Let the custom of 
singing that Creed cease in the palace, since it is not sung 
in our holy Church, and thus it w T ill come to pass that what 
is given up by you will be given up by all ; and so, perhaps, 
as far as may be, both advantages will be secured." The 
legates departed satisfied with this response, and Pope Leo, 
to evince his determination to preserve the Creed inviolate, 
caused two silver plates to be cast, upon which he had the 
symbol engraved in Latin and Creek and affixed to the gate 
of the Church of St. Paul. For a full and interesting 
account of the entire interview between the legates of 
Charlemagne on this occasion and the Sovereign Pontiff, 
the reader is requested to consult Baronius, tome ix., or 
Neale's Holy Eastern Church, ii. p. 1163. 

According to some, the final insertion of the " Filioque " 
was made by Pope Nicholas the Great somewhere between 
the years 858 and 867 ; others maintain that this was not 
authoritatively done until the time of Pope Benedict VIII. 
— that is, about the beginning of the eleventh century (see 
Perrone, Prcelectiones Theol, iv. p. 346, note 8). It will 
interest the reader to know that the Uniat Greeks, or those 
in communion with Eome, are not required to recite the 
" Filioque " in the Creed at the present day, even though 
saying Mass in presence of the Supreme Pontiff. All that 
the Holy See requires of them in this matter is that they 

Part of the Mass at which the Creed is Recited, 263 

believe in the doctrine involved in it, and be ready to make 
open profession of it when called upon to do so {ibid. p. 
350, note 16). 


According to the Roman Rite, the Creed is recited im- 
mediately after the Gospel, or after the sermon, if there 
should have been one. In the Mozarabic Rite it is recited 
just before the " Pater Noster," in accordance with a decree 
of the third Council of Toledo, a.d. 589, and this in order 
that the people may receive the Body and Blood of our Lord 
in Holy Communion with hearts full of fresh faith and love 
(Summa Conciliorum, p. 124 ; Liturg. Mozar., Migne, p. 
118, note). 

Eastern Practice regarding its Recital. — The Armenians 
Tecite the Creed at the same part of the Mass that we do — 
viz., after the Gospel. In the Liturgy of St. James it fol- 
lows soon after the expulsion of the catechumens. It is a 
little further on in the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom. The 
Nestorians recite it close upon the Canon, and the Copt* 
immediately before the prayer of the " Kiss of peace." Sc 
great a veneration has the Russian Church for the Creed 
that the great bell of the Kremlin tolls the entire time of its 
chanting, and with many of the nobles of the land it is cus- 
tomary to have it worked in pearls upon their robes of state 
(Holy Eastern Church, by Neale and Littledale, p. 32). 

Ceremonies attending the Recital of the Creed.— With very 
little exception the Creed is recited precisely as the " Gloria 
in excelsis." When the priest has come to the " et incar- 
natus est " he begins to incline the knee so as to touch the 
ground at "homofactus est/' and this to recall more inti- 
mately to mind the profound humility of our Divine Lord in 
louring upon earth for our sakes and taking our nature upon 

264 The Celebration of Mass. 

him (Romsee, iv. 118). The Carthusians make only a simple 
bow of the knee at this place, without touching the ground. 
According to the Roman Rite, the priest says the entire 
Creed at the middle of the altar before the crucifix. The 
Dominicans begin its initial words there, but finish the rest 
of it at the Gospel side, where the missal is. When they 
come to the place where the genuflection is to be made they 
move to the middle, and, having spread out the anterior part 
of the chasuble on the altar in front of them, kneel down 
and touch the ground as we do. They then return to the 
missal and finish the rest there. In the Masses that are said 
in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jersusalem — which, 
it is well to state, are always de Resurrectione — instead of 
simply saying "et sepultus est," it is of obligation to add 
the adverb "hie," and say "was buried here" by way of 
specification of place (Vetromile, Travels in Europe and the 
Holy Land, p. 211). 


The Creed is said on all the Sundays of the year, in 
memory of our Lord's resurrection on that day, and also 
out of deference to the Adorable Trinity, to whom Sunday, 
as being the principal liturgical day, is dedicated. During 
the rest of the week the Creed, as a general rule, is not said. 
Formerly it was not said on the feasts of the Holy Angels, 
inasmuch as they had nothing to do with it, but it is said 
now because they come under the "invisibilium omnium" 
(Ferraris, p. 751). It will interest the reader to know that 
St. Mary Magdalene is the only female saint in heaven — the 
Mother of God alone excepted — who enjoys the privilege of 
having a Credo in her Mass, and this because, in the lan- 
guage of the Church, she is styled " Apostola Apostolorum " 
— the Apostle of Apostles — for it was to her, as the Scriptures 
testify, that our Lord first appeared after his resurrection. 

To what Masses the Creed is Proper. 265 

The other occasions upon which the Credo is said are, 
with few exceptions, comprehended under the old dictum of 
rubricists, " Muc non credunt." Taking the letters of Muc 
apart, we have "m," which stands for martyrs ; "u," or 
"v," for virgins, widows, and non-virgins ; and "c," for 
confessors, all of whom have no Credo special to them. 
As exceptions to this rule may be mentioned the feasts of 
the apostles and doctors of the Church, also those of our 
Lord and his Blessed Mother. With us the Creed is never 
said in Masses for the dead, but it is with the Greeks, who 
also on such occasions celebrate in red vestmonta instead of 
black, as is our custom. 




The word Offertory — from the Latin offerre, to offer — 
is now used in two special senses, the first, meaning the 
prayer called in the Missal the Offertorium, which the priest 
reads immediately after the Creed ; the second, all that takes 
place at the altar from the end of this prayer to the end of 
the oblation of the bread and wine. 

In the early ages of the Church it was customary for the 
people to present here bread and wine for the use of the 
altar, oil for the sanctuary-lamp, incense for Solemn High 
Mass, and ears of corn and clusters of grapes as the first- 
fruits of the land (Bona, p. 332). By the third of the 
Apostolic Canons, nothing but what was required for the 
Holy Sacrifice could be placed on the altar ; all the other 
offerings were usually received on a side-table prepared for 
the purpose, and called in ancient books, and yet so styled 
by the Greeks, the Gazophilacium. The Council of Trullo/ 
in the year 692, forbade the offering of milk and honey. 
The Council of Carthage, in 397, allowed these commodities 
to be offered once a year — viz., at Easter — because it was 
customary at that time especially to give milk and honey 
to the newly baptized ; a custom which is yet almost univer- 
sally observed in the East. In presenting these gifts the 

1 So called because the room of the emperor's palace at Constantinople where thia 
council was held was shaped after the manner of a trulla, or basin. It was this 
council that forbade the making of the cross on the pavements, lest people walking 
upon it may desecrate it. 


The Order in which the Offerings were Presented. 26? 

people usually gave in their names also, in order that they 
might be recorded among those for whom the priest made 
a special memento ; and it served, too, for determining who 
it was that intended going to Holy Communion on that 
occasion, for, as a general rule, all who presented offerings 
approached the Blessed Eucharist (Hid., p. 333). 

This ancient custom is yet kept up in many European 
churches, at Lyons especially ; and vestiges of it may be 
seen in the Masses of ordination, where the elect to orders 
present wax candles at this place to the ordaining bishop ; 
also in the Mass of the consecration of a bishop-elect, where 
the newly-appointed offers two lighted candles, two loaves of 
bread, and two ornamented small barrels of wine. Accord- 
ing to Kozma (p. 186), this ancient custom continued, with 
little interruption, up to the thirteenth century, when it 
gave place to that in vogue to-day of receiving the people's 
offerings in the pews throughout the church. 


The Roman Ordo, describing the Offertory as it was ob- 
served in the ninth century, tells us that the people pre- 
sented their gifts in a clean linen cloth, the male portion of 
the congregation leading the way, and the females after 
them with their cakes of fine flour and cruses of wine. 
The priests and deacons presented gifts after the people, but 
these were of bread simply. When the bishop was present 
the onus of receiving the gifts devolved always upon him. 
For this reason, as soon as the time for presenting them had 
arrived, his lordship walked over to the end of the altar- 
rail, followed by an archdeacon, a subdeacon, and two aco- 
lytes. The subdeacon, with an empty chalice, followed 
immediately after the archdeacon, who, upon receiving the 
offerings of wine from the hands of the bishop (who himself 

268 The Celebration of Mass, 

had received them first from the people), poured them into 
the large chalice held by the subdeacon. The offerings of 
bread were handed direct by the bishop to the subdeacon, 
who placed them in a large linen cloth carried by two aco- 
lytes. When all was ended the bishop washed his hands 
(a custom yet observed in a Bishop's Mass), and, having 
returned to the altar, there received the offerings of the 
priests and deacons. All that remained over and above 
what was necessary for the immediate wants of the altar 
on these occasions, went into a common fund for the suste- 
nance of the clergy and the poor of the parish (Kozma, 
i bid. ) 

A question that is not easily settled is this : Did any of 
the congregation approach the altar at the Offertory and 
place their gifts upon it, instead of presenting them at the 
rails, as we have described ? The discipline of allowing no 
one inside the sanctuary but the ministers of the altar was 
always very strictly observed in the Greek Church, except in 
case of the emperors of Constantinople, in whose favor an 
exception was made ; and that it was strictly observed, too, 
in the Latin Church, at least for quite a long time, may be 
clearly seen from the conciliar statutes that were made con- 
cerning it. But that there were places and times when a re- 
laxation of this discipline was allowed to be made, there ii 
every reason to believe, and it is generally understood that at 
least the male portion of the congregation went up with 
their gifts to the altar itself, but that the female portion 
presented them at the rails. This, certainly, was the cus- 
tom throughout the diocese of Orleans, in France, as we 
learn from the capitulary of Theodulf, bishop of that see. 
Cardinal Bona says that in course of time this whole disci- 
pline was so relaxed that both males and females approached 
the altar indiscriminately when the Offertory was at hand 
(Ber. Liturg.f p. 336). 

Music during the Offertory. 269 



As late as the sixteenth century a very singular custom 
prevailed in England — viz., that of presenting at the altar 
during a Mass of Requiem all the armor and military 
equipments of deceased knights and noblemen, as well as 
their chargers. Dr. Rock (Church of Our Fathers, ii. 
507) tells us that as many as eight horses, fully capari- 
soned, used to be brought into the church for this pur- 
pose at the burial of some of the higher nobility. At 
the funeral of Henry VII., in Westminster Abbey, after 
the royal arms had first been presented at the foot of the 
altar, we are told that Sir Edward Howard rode into church 
upon "agoodlie courser," with the arms of England em- 
broidered upon his trappings, and delivered him to the 
abbots of the monastery (ibid.) Something similar hap- 
pened at the Mass of Requiem for the repose of the soul of 
Lord Bray, in a.d. 1557, and at that celebrated for Prince 
Arthur, son of Henry VII. (ibid.) 


Up to the fourth century the presentation of gifts tools 
place in silence, but after this period the custom of singing 
psalms at this place, in order to relieve the tedium of the 
people, was introduced (Kozma, pp. 186, 187). St. Augustine 
alludes particularly to this custom in his works (see Retract., 
1. ii. c. xi.), and a precedent for it may be seen in the old 
law, where the sons of Aaron, while the high-priest was 
offering the blood of the grape, sounded their silver trum- 
pets, and the singers lifted up their voices and caused the 
great house to resound with sweet melody (Ecclesiasticus, 
chap. 1.) 

The custom very generally prevails here to-day of singing, 

270 The Celebration of Mass. 

instead of the Offertorium itself, a certain musical composi- 
tion called a motet, 9 in which several voices join, accom- 
panied by instruments. These motets must be always sung 
in Latin, never in English, or any other language, without 
the permission of the Holy See. They must be character- 
ized, too, by gravity and dignity both as to wording and 
rendition, so as to be qualified to raise the feelings to a con- 
templation of heavenly things rather than excite in them 
earthly desires (Benedict XIV., 1. c, § 89). 

The Offertorium, according to the present disposition of 
the Koman Missal, is, for the most part, very short, seldom 
exceeding half a dozen lines. It is generally taken from 
the Psalter of David, and was formerly called an antiphon, 
for the reason that in the Antiphonary of Pope Gregory 
the Great certain verses used to *be attached to it after 
the manner of a versicle and response. Whenever the offer- 
ing of the gifts on the part of the people took up more time 
than usual, it was customary to sing the entire psalm here, 
or at least as much of it as would occupy the whole time 
that elapsed from the reading of the Offertorium by the 
priest to the end of the offering of gifts (Romsee, iv. 125 ; 
Kozma, pp. 186, 187). 

The Offertorium common to all Masses for the dead is 
yet formed after the ancient manner of an antiphon, a 
versicle, and a response, though it is not, like the great ma- 
jority, taken from the psalms. In fact, it is from no part of 

» The word motet comes originally from the Latin movere, to move ; but whether 
this name has been given it from its moving effect upon the feelings, or from its some- 
what lively and more sprightly nature in opposition to the slow, measured motion of 
plain chant, authors are not prepared to say. Moriey, in his Introduction to Har- 
mony, p. 179, thus writes of it : "A motet is properly a song made for the Church, 
either upon some hymn or anthem, or such Jike ; and that name I take to have been 
given to that kind ot mnsicke, in opposition to the other, which they call 4 canto 
flnno, 1 and we do commonlie call plain chant ; for as nothing is more opposite to 
standing and firmness than motion, so did they give the motet that name of moving^ 
because it is, in a manner, quite coutrarie to the othej," 

The Offertorium. 271 

Holy Scripture. As this same Offertorium, on account of 
its strange wording, has given rise to much curious ques- 
tioning, some going so far as to say that the Church in- 
tends by it the liberation of the souls of the damned from 
hell, we deem it well to give it entire to the reader, 
and make the necessary comments afterwards : " Lord 
Jesus Christ, King of glory, deliver the souls of all the 
faithful departed from the pains of hell and the deep lake ; 
deliver them from the mouth of the lion, lest Tartarus swal- 
low them up, lest they fall into the dark place ; but let the 
standard-bearer, St. Michael, bring them into the holy 
light which thou didst of old promise to Abraham and his 
posterity. " 

In a secondary way all this may be applied to Purgatory ; 
but to our mind the intrinsic beauty and effect of the whole 
prayer would be lost if this were its exclusive application. 
Its true explanation is this : In the very early days of the 
Church Masses for the faithful departed were accustomed to 
be celebrated the moment it became known that any given 
soul was in its last agony, and, consequently, past all chance 
of recovery. It made no difference what time of the day this 
happened, or whether the priest who said the Mass was fast- 
ing or not. The virtue of the Holy Sacrifice was then sup- 
posed to ascend before the throne of God simultaneously 
with the departure of the soul of the deceased to the 
tribunal of judgment, and the merciful God was besought, 
in consideration of this, not to condemn it to hell's flames. 
(The authors who say that this view may be taken of it are 
Pope Benedict XIV., De Sacros. Missce Sacrif.; Eomsee, 
iv. 126 ; Cavalieri, torn. iii. dec. 19 ; Grancolas, De Missis 
Mortuorum, p. 536 ; Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Rit., p. 92.) 
A moment's consideration would enable any one to see that 
Purgatory never could have been directly meant by the word- 
ing of this Offertorium, For what fear* it might be asked, 

272 The Celebration of Mass. 

could there be entertained of having a soul swallowed up by 
Tartarus, or drowned in the "deep lake," who was already 
secure in that middle state, and whose eternal happiness 
was certain ? The souls in Purgatory are in a state of 
grace, and, as there is no danger of their ever falling from 
it, it would be idle, nay, heretical, to pray for them as if 
iuch danger existed. 

To this interpretation it is sometimes objected that the 
entire tenor of these Masses would lead a person to suppose 
<hat the soul for whom they are designed to be offered had 
oeen some time dead ; how, then, it is asked, can this view 
be reconciled ? Although the ancient custom of saying 
these Masses when the soul was in its last agony no longer 
exists, still the Church has not deemed it necessary to 
change their wording, inasmuch as it may yet be easily veri- 
fied by supposing the time at which these Masses are now 
offered withdrawn to that very moment in the past when 
the soul was leaving the body. Instances of thus withdraw- 
ing from the present time, and representing an event as yet 
to take place which has really already taken place, is by no 
means uncommon in the offices of the Church. The whole 
of Advent time, for example, is framed upon this principle. 
We pray then for the coming of the great Messias with as 
much earnestness as if he were yet to appear. We ask the 
heavens to open and rain down the Just One. We beg of 
God to send us a Eedeemer, and we ask the aid of His divine 
grace to enable us to prepare in our hearts a suitable dwell- 
ing into which to receive Him. Many more examples may 
be cited to show that this mode of praying is by no 
means unusual. St. Michael is here styled God's standard- 
bearer because chief of the heavenly host ; and it was to 
him, as ancient tradition states, that the duty of hurling 
Satan and the rest of the fallen angels from heaven was 
entrusted. He is called the " Winged Angel," and is gene- 

The Offertory proper. 273 

rally represented in art with a shield and lance. When 
depicted as the conqueror of Satan he stands in armor 
with his foot upon the demon, who is represented prostrate 
in the shape of a fierce dragon. As lord of souls St. 
Michael holds a balance in his hand. According to an 
ancient legend, it was he who appeared to our Blessed 
Lady to announce the time of her death, and conduct her 
afterwards to the throne of her Divine Son in heaven. It 
may interest the reader to be told that the old English coin 
called an angel received its name from the fact that St. 
Michael was depicted upon it (see Legends and Stories Illus- 
trated in Art, by Clara E. Hemans, p. 228). 

After the priest has recited the Offertorium he proceeds 
without delay to the Offertory proper. The chalice, which 
had stood up to this time on the corporal in the centre of 
the altar, is now uncovered, and the oblation of the Host, 
resting on the paten, is made with the following words : 
" Accept, Holy Father, Omnipotent, Eternal God, this im- 
maculate Host which I, thy unworthy servant, offer thee, my 
living and true God, for my innumerable sins, offences, and 
negligences, and for all who are present ; moreover, for all 
faithful Christians, living and dead, that it may avail both 
me and them unto salvation and life everlasting." Having 
finished this prayer, the priest lowers the paten, and, having 
made the sign of the cross with it over the corporal, places the 
Host upon the latter, near its anterior edge, where it re- 
mains until the time of Communion. 3 He places the paten 
itself at his right, partially covering it with the corporal, 
and lays the purificator over the rest of it. At Solemn 
High Mass the paten is not placed here, but is wrapped up 
by the subdeacon in a corner of the humeral veil, and held 

8 The reader must not suppose that it remains so undisturbed until the time of 
Communion. This would not he true, for at the consecration the priest takes it in 
his hands, and doe« so frequently afterwards. 

274 The Celebration of Mass. 

partially elevated by him below near the altar-rails until the 
end of the "Pater noster." This ceremony is intended to 
preserve a vestige of a very ancient rite, the explanation of 
which is generally given as follows: For the first six centuries 
of the Christian Church it was on the paten that the Hosts 
used to be consecrated and broken, and from it distributed 
to the people at Holy Communion. This we clearly see 
from the words of the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory the 
Great, to wit : " We consecrate and sanctify this paten for 
confecting in it the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ." But 
when this custom ceased, in order that the paten might not 
lie uselessly on the altar and impede the operations of the 
priest (for in ancient times, as we have already stated else- 
where, it was of very large proportions), it used to be given 
in charge to the subdeacon until it was needed again. 
Why the subdeacon held it rather than any of the other 
ministers was to remind him of his office, because it was his 
duty to see always to the bread of oblation, as may clearly 
be understood from the words addressed him at his ordina- 
tion ; and then, again, he was more free from this part of 
the Mass to the time of Communion than any of the rest in 
the sanctuary (see Romsee, ii. 32, note ; Catalanus, Com- 
ment, in Pontif. Eomanum; Muhlbauer, De Or din. Subd., 
i. 41). 

Regarding the expression " immaculate host," applied 
here to what is as yet but mere bread, enquiries are often 
made ; the answer to all of which is that the appellation 
is given solely by way of anticipation of what is going 
to take place at consecration. " We do not call the bread 
and wine an immaculate host," says Hofmeister, "but the 
Body and Blood of the Lord which they are changed into. 
Therefore, not from what they now are, but from what they 
are going to be, are they dignified with such a title " (Bona, 
Rer. Liturg., p. 337). 

The Offertory proper. 275 

Having completed the oblation of the bread, the priest 
takes the chalice in hand and goes to the Epistle corner to 
receive the wine and water from the server. The amount of 
wine placed in the chalice on the occasion is, as a general 
rule, about as much as would fill a small wine-glass, and the 
water added seldom exceeds two or three drops. To ap- 
proach as nearly as possible to the proper quantity, and have 
an exact measure to go by, it is customary to use a small 
spoon in many places of Europe for this purpose. The wine 
is poured into the chalice without either a blessing or a 
prayer ; but as the water is added the priest makes the sign 
of the cross over it and recites the following prayer in the 
meantime : ' ' God ! who didst wonderfully form the sub- 
stance of human nature, and more wonderfully still regene- 
rate it, grant us, by the mystery of this water and wine, to 
be united with the divinity of Him who deigned to become 
partaker of our humanity, thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, 
who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy 
Ghost, God, world without end. Amen." 

Liturgical writers seem to be unanimous in holding that 
the literal reason for mixing a few drops of water here with 
the wine is to commemorate what our Lord himself most 
probably did at the Last Supper ; for it was always customary 
in his time, and the custom remains yet unchanged through- 
out the entire East, to temper the wine, before drinking it, 
with a little water. A neglect of this was looked upon by 
the Jews as a great breach of etiquette. 4 But besides this 
literal reason there are several mystical reasons for this very 
ancient ceremony. In the first place, as the prayer recited 
while adding the water implies, it is intended to remind us 

4 Bannister, in his Temples of the Hebrews, p. 2&3, tells us that water was always 
mingled with the wine at the Feast of the Passover, and that the master of the assem- 
bly offered a form of thanksgiving on the occasion by using these words ■ " Blessed b« 
fhou, O Lord J who hast created the fruit of the vine." 

276 The Celebration of Mass, 

of the very close union that exists between ourselves and our 
Lord — so close, indeed, that we are said to partake in a mea- 
sure of his divinity, as he partook of our humanity and 
became like unto us in all things, as the apostle says, sin 
alone excepted. Secondly, this mixture recalls to mind the 
blood and water which issued from our Lord's side on the 
cross when pierced by the spear. Thirdly, it has a reference, 
according to some, to Holy Baptism, in virtue of which we 
are all regenerated. . The small quantity of water added on 
this occasion is said to be intended as a reminder of the few- 
ness of the elect at the last day (Gavantus, p. 199). 


It will always remain a wonder to us why the blessing of 
the water here has occasioned so much anxious enquiry, and 
given rise to an almost interminable amount of discussion, 
when the reason is so close at hand. It is blessed here 
simply because it cannot be found by itself afterwards. 
The wine is not blessed until immediately before the con- 
secration — that is, when the priest makes the sign of the 
cross over it at the word "benedixit." It is at this part 
of the Mass that the bread also receives its special blessing, 
and not at the Offertory. Formerly the water was not 
blessed at this place — and is not even now in Masses for 
the dead — but was let fall into the chalice in the form of 
a cross, a custom which we see yet in vogue with the Car- 
thusians. The Carmelites and Dominicans place the wine 
and the water in the chalice at the beginning of Mass ; 
the Carthusians put the wine in at that time, too, but not 
the water until the Offertory. The reason usually alleged 
for putting the wine and water into the chalice at this early 
stage is that sufficient time may be given for the water to 
be converted into the substance of the wine before consecra- 

Why the Water is Blessed be/ore Using. 277 

tion takes place. A rubric to this effect thus reads in the 
Dominican Missal : " Tantam quantitatem aquae distillet 
in calicem, quse facillime tota possit in vinum converti" — 
"He drops as much water into the chalice as may very 
easily be converted, in its entirety, into the substance of 
the wine." Few questions gave rise to more spirited argu- 
mentation in the middle ages, especially towards the latter 
part, than that which respected the mingling of the water 
with the wine, as here alluded to ; some holding that the 
water was immediately taken up by the wine and made part 
of its own substance, while others maintained that the 
water always remained as it was, even after consecration, 
and was not transubstantiated at all, as the wine was. Pope 
Innocent III. discusses the question at full length in his 
treatise on the Mass, but abstains from giving any definite i 
decision in the matter. According to St. Thomas Aquinas 
(par. 3., quest. 74, art. 8) and St. Bonaventure (dis. ii. 
par. 2, art. 1, q. 3), the water is not converted immediately 
into the Body and Blood of our Lord in this case, but me- 
diately only — that is, it is first converted into wine, and 
then both, as one entire body, are transubstantiated. All 
the Thomists and Scotists alike held this. 

Local Customs. — The priests of the Ambrosian Rite, in 
pouring the water into the chalice, say : " Out of the side of 
Christ there flowed blood and water at the same time. In 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. Amen." The priests of Lyons Cathedral say : 
"From the side of our Lord Jesus Christ there issued 
blood and water at the time of his Passion ; this is a mys- 
tery of the Blessed Trinity. John the Evangelist saw it 
and bore witness of the fact, and we know that his testi- 
mony is true." In the Mozarabic Eite the formula is : 
" From the side of our Lord Jesus Christ blood and water 
are said to have flowed ; and, therefore, we mix them, in 

278 The Celebration of Mass. 

order that the merciful God may vouchsafe to sanctify both 
for the salvation of our souls." 


The priest, in making this oblation, holds the chalice with 
both hands raised before his face while he recites the fol- 
lowing prayer : "We offer thee, Lord! the chalice of sal- 
vation, beseeching thy clemency that it may ascend in the 
sight of thy divine Majesty with the odor of sweetness for 
our salvation and for that of the whole world. Amen." 
He then lowers the chalice, and, placing it on the corporal 
immediately behind the Host, covers it with the pall. Up 
to the fifteenth century the practice was very much in vogue 
of placing the chalice not behind the Host, as now, but at 
the right of it — that is, opposite the left of the priest — and 
this with a view to catch the Precious Blood, as it were, as it 
flowed from the body of our Lord when opened by the sol- 
dier's spear. The tradition in the Eastern Church as well as 
the Western, has always been that it was our Lord's right 
side that was pierced on the cross, and not the left (Rock, 
Vhurch of Our Fathers, i. 261 ; Translation of the Primitive 
Liturgies, p. 182, note 12, by ISTeale and Littledale). The 
plural form "we offer" used in this prayer, instead of the 
singular " I offer," is retained here, some say, from Solemn 
High Mass, where the deacon touches the chalice with his 
hand while the celebrant is making its oblation, and thus 
offers it conjointly with him (Romsee, iv. 141). Others see 
in the retention of the plural a special reference to the 
duty of the deacon — viz., of dispensing the chalice to the 
people when the custom of communicating under both spe- 
cies was in vogue (Bona, Rer. Liturg., p. 338). And as to 
the retention of the plural form when no deacon assists, as is 
the case in Low Mass, authors tell us that Pope Gregory the 
Great was very fond of employing the plural instead of the 

Oblation of the Chalice, 271/ 

singular, and that very likely he allowed this to stand un- 
touched, as he did the form "benedicite, Pater reverende," 
instead of "benedic, Pater" (Le Brun, Explication des 
Erie res et des Ceremonies de la Messe, ii. p. 60, note a). 

After the oblation of the chalice the priest inclines 
slightly, and, placing his hands united, palm to palm, on 
the altar, recites the following prayer: "In a spirit of hu- 
mility and with contrite heart may we be received by thee, 
Lord ! and grant that the sacrifice we offer this day in thy 
sight may be pleasing to thee, Lord God ! " The priest 
then becomes erect, and presently, raising, then lowering 
his hands, invokes the Holy Ghost, saying: "Come, 
Sanctifier, Omnipotent, Eternal God! and bless this sacrifice 
prepared to thy holy name." Upon saying "bless" he 
makes the sign of the cross over the Host and chalice con- 
jointly. This prayer affords the only instance in the whole 
Mass where the Holy Ghost is invoked expressly by name, 
for which reason some have supposed that it is God the 
Father who is meant ; but, as Romsee very well says, we do 
not apply the term come to the Father, but only to God the 
Son, or God the Holy Ghost, both of whom are always sent, 
or implored that they might come ; but God the Father, 
who sends them, is never addressed in this way (Romsee, iv. 
p. 146). In many ancient missals the Holy Ghost used to 
be mentioned in this prayer expressly, and is so mentioned 
yet in the Mozarabic Rite, where the prayer of invocation 
thus begins: "Come, Holy Ghost, Sanctifier!" etc. In 
commenting on this prayer Pope Benedict XIV. says, in his 
treatise on the Mass, that it is addressed to the Third Per- 
son of the Blessed Trinity, in order that, as the Body of our 
Blessed Lord was formed by the power and operation of this 
Holy Spirit in the chaste womb of the Blessed Virgin, it 
may be formed anew by the same Spirit upon the altar of 
God (Enchiridion de Sacrif. Missa, p. 53). 

280 The Celebration of Mass. 

At Solemn High Mass incense is brought on the altar 
after this prayer, and the oblation, as well as the altar it- 
self and its ministers, are incensed. Then follows the in- 
censing of all in the sanctuary, and, finally, of the people 
of the congregation. We have not deemed it necessary to 
enter more minutely into this ceremony, as our book is not a 
treatise on rubrics. 

Having recited the prayer "Come, Sanctifier!" the 
priest goes to the Epistle corner, and there washes the 
tips of his fingers — not of all his fingers, but only of the 
thumb and index-finger of each hand, as it is these, and 
these only, that are allowed to touch the Blessed Sacrament, 
for which reason they are sometimes called the canoni- 
cal fingers ; and it is they which were anointed with holy 
oil by the bishop when the priest was ordained. While per- 
forming this ablution the priest recites that portion of the 
twenty-fifth Psalm which begins with "I will wash my 
hands among the innocents." Besides the literal reason 
of this ablution, there is a beautiful mystical reason also 
— to wit, that in order to offer so tremendous a sacrifice 
as that in which the victim is none else than the Son of 
God himself, the priest's conscience must be free from the 
slightest stain of sin. "This signifies," says St. Cyril ol 
Jerusalem, in his fifth book of Catechesis, " that our souls 
must be purified from all sins and wickedness. For, as the 
hands are the instruments of action, the washing of them 
shows the purity of our desires." St. Germanus says to the 
same effect: "The washing of a priest's hands should re- 
mind him that we must approach the holy table with a clean 
conscience, mind, and thoughts (the hands of the soul), 
with fear, meekness, and heartfelt sincerity." It is worth 
noting here that the priest does not remain at the middle of 
the altar while washing his hands, but goes to the Epistle 
corner, and this out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament 

"Orate Fratres." 281 

enclosed in the tabernacle and for the crucifix. In case the 
Blessed Sacrament should be exposed, to show a still greater 
degree of respect, he descends one step at the Epistle side, 
and, standing so as to have his back turned to the wall and 
not to the altar, performs the ablution there. The Church 
is very particular in all that concerns the reverence due to 
the Holy Eucharist. 

Having performed this ablution, the priest returns to the 
middle of the altar, where, bowing down slightly, he recites 
fche following prayer: "Beceive, Holy Trinity! this obla- 
tion, which we oii'er thee in memory of the passion, resurrec- 
tion, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ ; in honor of 
Blessed Mary ever Virgin ; of blessed John the Baptist ; 
and of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, of these and of 
all the Saints, that it may tend to their honor and to our 
salvation, and that they whose memory we celebrate upon 
earth may deign to intercede for us in heaven. Through 
the same Christ our Lord. Amen." During the first four 
centuries the Church was very careful in alluding to the 
Blessed Trinity, for the reason that she feared it might 
lead the pagans and infidels to suppose that she worshipped 
a plurality of Gods. She wisely abstained, therefore, from 
addressing her public prayers to any of the three Divine 
Persons but the Father only. This prayer, although not of 
as high antiquity as some of the others, is yet very old, for 
we find it in the so-called Illyric Missal, supposed to date as 
!ar back as the seventh century (Eomsee, p. 156). 


Having finished this prayer, the priest turns round to the 
congregation and salutes them with "Orate fratre6," or 
" Pray, brethren," which he continues reciting as follows : 
"That my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God 
the Father Almighty." The reason generally assigned for 

282 TJie Celebration of Mass. 

only saying the first two words of this prayer in an audible 
tone is that the singers may not be disturbed while going 
through their offertorial pieces (ibid.) To this prayer the 
server answers, "May the Lord receive this Sacrifice from 
thy hands, to the praise and glory of his name, for our bene- 
fit also, and that of his entire holy Church." At the end 
the priest says "Amen" secretly. 

Although there should be none but females assisting at a 
priest's Mass, as is frequently the case in convents, still the 
form of salutation must not be changed from the masculine 
gender ; nor must any addition whatever be made to it by 
reason of the attendance of the opposite sex. In ancient 
times, however, such a change used to be made in some 
places, for we find that the Sarum Kite used to say, " Orate 
fratres et sorores" — "Pray, brethren and sisters" ; and the 
form may also be seen in a Missal of Cologne 6 edited in 
the year 1133. 


Having said "Amen" after the server's response to the 
" Orate fratres," the priest, standing at the centre of the 
altar, reads from the missal, placed at his left (Gospel side), 
the prayers called " Secretas," which always correspond in 
number with the collects read at the beginning of Mass. As 
to how the term secret came to be applied to these prayers 
much diversity of opinion exists. According to some, this 

* The Cathedral of Cologne is the finest specimen of Gothic architecture in the 
world. It was begun in 1248, and is yet in process of building. Its two massive 
towers will, when completed, be each 500 feet high— that is, about 50 feet higher than 
St. Peter's at Rome, and 25 feet higher than the tower of the great Cathedral of Strass- 
burg, which ranks now as the highest Structure in the world. The Cathedral of 
Cologne has the rare privilege of possessing the skulls of the Magi who came to 
adore our Lord on Christmas morning. They are preserved in silver cases studded 
with gems, and their names — viz., Gaspar, Melchior, and Baltassar— are wrought upon 
them in rubies. 

Offertory in the Oriental Cliurch. 283 

name was given them because they were the first prayers re- 
cited after the catechumens had been dismissed or set apart 
(secreti) from the rest of the congregation, the Latin origin 
of the word — viz., secernere — favoring this interpretation. 
Others say they are so called from the fact that they are re- 
cited over that part of the offerings presented by the peo- 
ple, according to the ancient rite, which was separated and 
set aside from the rest for altar purposes. The great weight 
of authority, however, inclines towards attributing their 
name to the fact that they were recited secretly — that is, 
in a sort of whisper — in order not to disturb the singers, 
who in ancient times were stationed in the choir quite 
close to the altar. In order to have as little difference 
as possible between one kind of Mass and another, the 
Church has allowed many things to remain in Low Mass 
which really had their origin in High Mass, and, as we have 
taken care to state already, the majority of Masses in the 
early days were of the latter kind (Komsee, p. 162 ; Enchi- 
ridion Sac. Missm, ex Opere Bened. XIV., p. 55). At the end 
of the last secret prayer the Offertory is said, strictly speak- 
ing, to conclude. 


From what we have said in another place regarding the 
singular care which is taken by the Orientals in the matter 
of the sacrificial oblations, it will be easy to understand why 
the custom so long prevalent in the Western Church — viz., 
of receiving bread and wine from the people for altar pur- 
poses — never gained any ground with them. The Orientals 
take nothing for the holy Mass except what has been first 
prepared and presented by their own clergy. There is, then, 
strictly speaking, no offering on the part of the people in 
the Oriental Church, but donations in the shape of money 
are handed in for the sustenance of the clergy. "Before 

284 The Celebration of Mass. 

they go to the Prothesis " (the cruet-table), says Dr. Covel, 
" to begin the liturgy, all good people who are disposed to 
have their absent friends, living or dead, commemorated go 
to them that celebrate and get their names set down— there 
being two catalogues, one for the living, one for the dead— 
for which they deposit some aspers, or richer presents in 
silver or gold, as they are able or disposed, this being a 
great part of the common maintenance of a priest, especially 
in country villages " (Neale and Littledale, Primitive Litur- 
gies, p. 186, note). This offering, then, takes place in the 
East at the beginning of Mass, at what is called the Lit- 
tle Entrance, or Introit, and there is no offering whatever 
made at the Offertory proper. 

Before we pass on to the next portion of the Mass we beg 
to delay the reader here a while, in order to say a few words 
about certain liturgical appurtenances that were in quite 
general use in days gone by. We refer to the Holy Fan 
{Sacrum Flabellum), the Colum or Strainer, and the Comb. 


For quite a long time the custom prevailed in the Western 
Church, and we see it continues yet in the Eastern, of em- 
ploying a fan at the Offertory, and up to the end of Com- 
munion, for the purpose of driving away flies and other 
troublesome insects from the priest and the sacred oblation. 
The charge of this fan was entrusted to the deacon, and its 
delivery to him at his ordination formed, in early days, one 
of the necessary things, and is still so considered in the 
Greek Rite. 

In the ancient Rite of Sarum these fans were remarkable 
for the beauty and costliness of their workmanship, being 
sometimes made of the purest silver and gold curiously 
wrought. In an inventory found in the Cathedral of Salis- 

The Holy Fan. 285 

bury, in 1222, a fan of pure silver is mentioned. In the 
great Cathedral of York there was a precious fan which ex- 
hibited on one side an enamelled picture of the bishop of 
that see ( Church of Our Fathers, iii. p. 200). Sometimes 
these fans were made of parchment finely wrought, and 
sometimes again of peacock's feathers. They had a long 
handle attached, which was, for the most part, made of 
ivory. Hano, Bishop of Rochester, gave a fan to his cathe- 
dral in 1346 which was made of precious silk, with an ivory 
handle {ibid.) 

The earliest definite account that we have of these fans is 
that which is furnished by the so-called Apostolic Constitu- 
tions. These give the following directions concerning their 
use : " Let two deacons stand on both sides of the altar, 
holding a small fan made of parchment, peacock's f eathers> 
or fine linen, and with a gentle motion let them keep away 
the flies, in order that none of them may fall into the cha- 
lice " (Riddle, Christian Antiquities, p. 603). 

We have" said that the use of the fan is yet kept up by the 
Orientals during divine service. That employed by the 
Maronites is circular in shape, and has a number of little 
bells round its rim. It is generally made of silver or brass 
(Church of Our Fathers, p. 179). The Greek fan— of 
which Goar gives a full account, with a print on the opposite 
page, in his Euchol. Grate, p. 136 — is made in the shape of 
the winged face of a cherub. In the Western Church fans 
were symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and the flies and other 
troublesome insects which the fan was made to banish were 
supposed to be vain and distracting thoughts (Durandus, 
Rationale Divinorum, iv. p. 35) . As the fan of the Greek 
Church resembled a cherub in shape, its motion during Mass 
symbolized the flitting about of these blessed spirits before 
the throne of God (Prim. Liturgies, by Neale and Little- 
dale, Introduction, p. xxix.) 

286 The Celebration of Mass. 


In order to have the wine for the service of the altar 
wholly free from all manner of impurity, it was customary 
in the early days to pass it into the chalice through a litur- 
gical appurtenance called a colum, or strainer. This strainer, 
like all the other sacred utensils used about the altar, was 
frequently made of the most costly material, and was looked 
upon as filling a very important part in the service of the 
Mass. As a general rule it was made of silver, shaped like 
a spoon, and perforated with a number of very minute holes 
through which the pure wine was passed into the chalice in 
a filtered state. Cardinal Bona speaks at some length of 
these in his fier. Liturg., p. 293. 


Another ancient liturgical utensil, which perhaps w« 
should have spoken of sooner, was the comb, employed foi 
the purpose of keeping the celebrant's hair in order during 
divine service. These were for the most part made of ivorv, 
but we find them of silver and gold very frequently, and 
studded in many cases with pearls. The Cathedral of Sens 
has yet among its ancient curiosities a liturgical comb of 
ivory, with the inscription, "Pecten sancti Lupi" — "The 
comb of St. Lupus" — engraved upon it. St. Lupus was 
bishop of this place in the year 609, from which we see that 
the comb is of a very high antiquity ( Church of Our Fa- 
thers, ii. p. 124). 

The Cathedral of Sarum, in England, had a vast number 
of ivory combs of this nature beautifully finished ; and as 
a curious bit of information we mention that among the 
spoils carried away from Glastonbury Abbey by the English 
Nabuchodonosor, Henry VIII., there is mentioned " a combe 

The Comb. 287 

of golde, garnishede with small turquases and other course 
stones" (Dugdale, Mon.Ang., torn. i. p. 63, from Dr. Rock). 

When the bishop officiated the deacon and subdeacon 
combed his hair as soon as his sandals had been put on ; 
when the celebrant was a priest the office of combing was 
first performed for him in the vestry, and then at stated 
times during Mass. The rule in this respect was that when- 
ever the officiating minister stood up after having been seat- 
ed for some time, and took off his cap, his hair was combed 
before he ascended the altar. While the process of combing 
was going on a cloth was spread over the shoulders to pre- 
vent the sacred vestments from being soiled. 

Durandus, who is always ready with a mystic meaning for 
everything, says that the stray hairs which lie upon the 
head now and then are the superfluous thoughts which 
trouble us from time to time and hinder us from paying 
the attention that we ought to our sacred duties {Rationale, 
pp. 149, 150). 

The use of the comb in the Western Church is now en- 
tirely unknown, but it may yet be seen in some churches of 
the East, for nearly all the Eastern clergy allow the beard to 
grow freely down the face after the manner of the ancient 
patriarchs (see Romanoff, Rites and Customs of the Greco- 
Russian Church, p. 401), for which reason combing be- 
comes frequently necessary in order to present a neat and 
becoming appearance. 




At the end of the last secret prayer the priest raises his 
voice and says, "Per omnia saecula sseculorum, : ' to which 
the server answers, "Amen." He then says, " Dominus vo- 
biscum," without, however, turning to the people, and now 
enters upon the Preface, so called because it is, as it were, 
a preparation for the most solemn part of the whole Mass — • 
viz., the Canon. The reason why the priest does not turn 
round to the people at this place when he says " Dominus 
vobiscum " is founded on that ancient custom which once 
prevailed in the West, and still continues in the East, of 
drawing aside the sanctuary curtains so as to hide the altar 
from the congregation the moment the Preface began. As 
there were no persons in sight then to salute, it was not 
deemed necessary to turn round, and a vestige of this ancient 
practice is here kept up (Kozma, p. 193). 

After the " Dominus vobiscum " the priest raises his 
hands aloft and says, " Sursum corda" — " Your hearts up- 
wards "; that is, " Lift your thoughts to heaven " — to which 
the server responds, "We have lifted them up to the Lord." 
The " Sursum corda" is, no doubt, taken from the Lamen- 
tations of Jeremias (iii. 41), and is found in all the litur- 
gies of the East and West. The solemn motion of the 
priest's hands, as he raises them on high while pronounc- 
ing this sacred admonition, is aptly compared by several 

Antiquity of the Preface. 289 

liturgical writers to the outspreading wings of a dove when 
going to fly, and forcibly recalls to mind that beautiful say- 
ing of King David, " Who will give me the wings of a dove, 
and I will fly and be at rest ?" (Ps. liv.) After the " Sur- 
sum corda" the priest says, " Gratias agamus Domino Deo 
nostro" — " Let us return thanks to the Lord our God"— 
to which the server answers, " Dignum et justum est " — 
" It is meet and just." The priest then enters on the Pre- 
face proper, and continues reciting it to the end without fur- 
ther interruption. 

The question is sometimes asked, Where does the Preface 
really begin ? Strictly speaking, not till the "Sursum cor- 
da," for the " Per omnia ssecula saeculorum" belongs to the 
conclusion of the last secret prayer, and the "Dominus vo- 
biscum " is a salutation to the people ; but as all our missals 
begin the Preface at the " Per omnia saecula saeculorum," it 
is well that this should be considered its true beginning. 

In the Mozarabic Liturgy the Preface is called the Inlatio, 
or Inference, from the fact, as Cardinal Bona conjectures, 
that the priest infers from the responses of the people that it 
is meet and just to give thanks to the Lord. In some ancient 
manuscripts it is called the Immolation, for the reason that 
it is, as it were, an introduction to that most sacred part 
of the Mass where Christ our Lord, the Immaculate Lamb, 
is newly immolated as on Calvary of old. 


The use of the Preface in the Mass is, according to the 
best authorities, of apostolic origin. For quite a long time 
it was customary to have a special one for every feast that 
occurred, so that the number was once very great. Ac- 
cording to Neale, as many as two hundred and forty are 
yet preserved. 

290 The Celebration of Mass. 

In the Mozarabic Kite there is still a proper Preface foi 
every Sunday and festival ; and the Ambrosians, or Milanese, 
have a different one every day in the week (Neale, Holy 
Eastern Church, i. p. 467). Towards the eleventh century 
the Eoman Church reduced the entire number to nine, to 
which two others were subsequently added, making in all 
eleven, which is the number of distinct Prefaces that we 
use to-day. Their names are as follows : 1st, the Preface 
of the Nativity, or Christmas day ; 2d, the Preface of the 
Epiphany, or 6th of January ; 3d, the Preface of Quadra- 
gesima, or Lent ; 4th, the Preface of the Cross and Pas- 
sion ; 5th, the Preface of Easter Sunday ; 6th, the Preface 
of the Ascension ; 7th, the Preface of Pentecost ; 8th, the 
Preface of the Blessed Trinity; 9th, the Preface of the 
Blessed Virgin ; 10th, the Preface of the Apostles ; 11th, 
the Preface of the Common. 

Preface of the Blessed Trinity. — It is admitted by all 
that this Preface is a masterpiece of composition. It read* 
very like a work of inspiration, and is, as far as its theology 
goes, the most profound of the eleven. We subjoin a trans- 
lation of it in full, but we beg to remind the reader that to 
be fully appreciated it must be read in its original tongue, 
the Latin. When rendered into English much of its sub- 
limity is lost : "It is truly meet and just, right and salu- 
tary, that we should always, and in all places, give than ks 
to thee, Holy Lord, Father omnipotent, Eternal God, 
who, together with thy Only-Begotten Son and the Holy 
Ghost, art one God and one Lord ; not in the singularity of 
one Person, but in a Trinity of one substance. For what 
we believe of thy glory as thou hast revealed, the same we 
believe of thy Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any 
difference or distinction. So that in the confession of the 
True and Eternal Deity we adore a distinction in the 
Persons, a unity in the Essence, an equality in the Majesty. 

Prefaces of the Blessed Trinity and of the B. F. M. 291 

Whom the Angels and Archangels praise, the Cherubim 
also and the Seraphim, who without ceasing cry out daily 
with one accord, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts. 
Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the 
highest ! Blessed be he who cometh in the name of the 
Lord ! Hosanna in the highest ! " Looking at this Preface 
from a theological point of view, it would appear that some 
of its phraseology must have been changed subsequent to 
the General Council of Nicaea, held in the year 325, for it is a 
well-known fact that, prior to that period, the Church, as 
we have already intimated in another place, wisely abstained 
from giving too much publicity to her doctrine concerning 
the exact relations existing between the three Persons of the 
Adorable Trinity. She declared, it is true, by her solemn 
definition against Arius at the above-mentioned council, 
that the Son of God was homoousios — that is, consubstantial 
with the Father ; but it was not until nine hundred years 
and more had passed away that she openly defined as de 
fide Catholica that the unity of the Godhead was a numeri- 
cal unity, and not a generic or specific unity, as the writ- 
ings of many of the ancient Fathers would be apt to lead 
one to suppose. "Not till the thirteenth century," says 
Dr. Newman, " was there any direct and distinct avowal on 
the part of the Church of the numerical unity of the 
Divine Nature, which the language of some of the principal 
Greek Fathers, prima facie, though not really, denies " 
(University Sermons, p. 324). The cause that led to the 
definition of this numerical unity in the thirteenth century 
; — that is, at the fourth Council of Lateran, A.D. 1215 — was 
the opposite teaching of the Abbot Joachim (Dublin Re- 
view, 1845, "Difficulties of the Ante-Nicene Fathers"). 

The Preface of the Blessed Virgin.— This is called the 
Miraculous Preface ; for, as the story goes, the greater part 
was miraculously put in the mouth of Pope Urban II, as he 

292 The Celebration of Mass. 

was one day singing High Mass in the Church of our 
Blessed Lady at Placentia. He began by chanting the 
Common Preface, but when he had come to that part where 
the Prefaces generally turn off to suit the occasion he heard 
angels above him singing as follows : " Who, by the over- 
shadowing of the Holy Ghost, conceived thine Only- Begotten 
Son, and, the glory of her virginity still remaining intact, 
brought into the world the Eternal Light, Christ Jesus, our 
Lord." The holy pontiff caused these words to be after- 
wards inserted in the Common Preface at the council held 
in the above place in 1095, and for this reason the 
Preface of the Blessed Virgin is ascribed to him (Ferraris, 
BiUiotheca; Bona, p. 341; Merati, Thesaur. Sacr.Bit.,j>.94:). 
A custom once prevailed in many places of bowing solemn- 
ly to the ground at the words, " Adorant dominationes. " 
There was a rubric to this effect in a Eoman ordo of the 
eighth century, composed for the use of monasteries (Mar- 
tene, De Antiq. Bed Bit., f. 31). 


All the Prefaces terminate with the " Holy, holy, holy, 
Lord God of Hosts," etc. This is called the triumphal 
hymn, sometimes the seraphic, and is taken from Isaias, vi. 
3 ; St. John also mentions it in the fourth chapter of his 
Apocalypse. The Mozarabics recite the termination of the 
Preface — that is, the "Holy, holy, holy," etc. — in Greek as 
well as in Latin. 

At Solemn High Mass, as the reader knows, the Preface is 
chanted throughout by the celebrant. The music is of the 
simplest kind of plain chant, but very soul-stirring. We 
have shown in our chapter on "Church Music" how deeply 
affected some of the ancient Fathers used to be when sing- 
ing this part of the Mass, and what abundance of tears its 
celestial melody often drew from their hearts. The chant 

Prefaces of the Oriental Church, 293 

used at Lyons and Milan differs a little from ours, as does 
also the Mozarabic, but the same divine fascination is in- 
herent in all of them. 


The Orientals have no variety of Preface at all. Every 
liturgy has one peculiar to itself, and this is employed the 
whole year round without any change whatever. It is 
called by the Easterns the Anaphora (although this word 
also includes the Canon of the Mass), and begins and ends 
almost precisely like our own. According to a ritual of 
Gabriel, Patriarch of Alexandria, directions are given to the 
priest to make the sign of the cross three different times at 
the "Sursum corda" : first, upon himself; secondly, upon 
the attending deacons ; and, thirdly, upon the congregation 
(Renaudot, i. p. 206). In the East, as well as in the West 
with ourselves, it is customary to stand up always the mo- 
ment this portion of the Mass begins, and this as a testi- 
mony of the great respect that is due it. At Low Mass, 
however, the rule is to remain kneeling. 

The Greeks call the "Holy, holy, holy," etc., the Tri- 
umphal Hymn, as we do. The " Gloria in excelsis " they 
call the Angelic Hymn. Their Trisagion, or Thrice Holy, 
which we recite on Good Friday, and of which we have 
given a full history already, is that which begins with 
"Holy God, Holy Strong One, Holy Immortal One." They 
have another hymn, called the Cherubic, which they recite 
in the Mass soon after the expulsion of the catechumens. 
It is worded as follows : " Let us, who mystically represent 
the Cherubim, and sing the Holy Hymn to the Life-giving 
Trinity, lay by at this time all worldly cares, that we may 
receive the King of glory invisibly attended by the angelic 
orders. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." 

In the Ethiopic Liturgy four archangels are particularized 

#94 The Celebration of Mass. 

in the Preface — viz., Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Suriel, 
or, as he is more commonly styled, Uriel. The Syriac 
Liturgy of Philoxenus mentions the celestial spirits after a 
somewhat singular manner, thus : "The jubilees of Angels ; 
the songs of Archangels ; the lyres of Powers ; the pure and 
grateful voices of Dominations ; the clamors of Thrones ; 
the thunders of Cherubim ; and the swift motion of Sera- 
phim." Immediately before the conclusion of the Preface 
in the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom mention is made of the 
celestial spirits as singing (adovra), bellowing (pocovra), 
crying (xsxpayora), and speaking (Xeyovra). According 
to some Oriental commentators, the four Evangelists are 
here mystically represented. The singing with a loud voice 
alludes to St. John, who, on account of the lofty flight of his 
genius, is aptly compared to the eagle, and is generally repre- 
sented in art with this bird by his side. The bellowing re- 
fers to St. Luke, who, on account of his setting forth the 
priesthood of our Lord so conspicuously, has been always 
represented by an ox, the symbol of sacrifice. By the crying 
or roaring like a lion St. Mark is meant, as he is said to be 
pre-eminently the historian of our Lord's resurrection ; and 
an Eastern tradition has it that young lions are born dead and 
are brought to life after three days (the time our Saviour was 
in the grave) by the roaring of their sire. And by the speak- 
ing — that is, like a man — St. Matthew is meant, on account 
of his dwelling so much on the human nature of our Lord. 
In art he , is generally represented by the figure of a cherub, 
which is supposed to resemble a human being so much (Neale, 
Holy Eastern Church, i. p. 470 ; Symbolism in Art, by Clara 
E. Clement, p. 18 ; also St. Jerome on the Four Evangelists). 
At the conclusion of the Preface the little sanctuary bell 
is rung to remind the people of the approach of the most 
solemn part of the Mass, in order that their attention may 
be fixed upon it more earnestly. 




We have now come to the most sacred portion of the 
entire Mass — sacred by reason of its great antiquity, for it 
carries us away back to the days of the apostles ; and doubly 
sacred because it contains those blessed words uttered by our 
Divine Redeemer at the Last Supper, in virtue of which the 
bread and wine are changed into his own Body and Blood. 
For the latter reason alone the Canon should be treated of 
on bended knees. 


The word Canon, from the Greek xarGjv, was used 
in a variety of senses by ancient authors. Originally it 
meant a rule or contrivance by which other things were kept 
straight ; but in a secondary sense it was variously applied 
according to the nature of the case, always, however, pre- 
serving the idea inherent in its original meaning. In ar- 
chitecture it was the plumb-line or level ; in weights and, 
measures it was the tongue of the balance ; in chronology 
it was the chief epoch or era ; in music it was the mono- 
chord, or basis of all the intervals ; and when applied in a 
literary sense it served to designate those writings which 
were to be distinguished from all others by the elegance and 
excellence of their diction. The Doruphoros of Polycletus 
was called by this name, and for this reason also the select 


296 The Celebration of Mass. 

extracts of many of the ancient Greek authors (Miiller, Ar- 
chdol d. Kunst, § 120, 4 ; liuhnken, Hist. Grit. Orat. Grcec. j 
Quintilian, List. Rhet., 10). To this last acceptation of the 
word the Canon of the Mass has a thousand claims, for 
all admit that it is a work of rare worth — in fact, a model 
of perfection ; for which reason, to pass over many others, it 
used to be formerly written in letters of gold (Martene, De 
Antiquis Eccl. Bit., f. 34). Many writers, however, say that 
it is called the Cation because of its unchangeable nature ; 
but to our mind this has never seemed a good reason, nor 
is it strictly true. The Canon does change on some oc- 


So careful is the Church to prevent innovations from en- 
tering into this part of the Mass that she forbids any one to 
meddle with it under pain of incurring her most severe cen- 
sures. She will not even permit a correction to be made in 
it for fear of destroying its antiquity. We shall mention a 
few cases in point. It is a well-known fact that the Canon 
terminates at the "Pater noster"; yet we find the word 
Canon printed in every missal from the first prayer, or 
"Te igitur," to the end of the Gospel of St. John. This 
is evidently a printer's blunder ; but because it is of a very 
ancient date the Church has allowed it to stand, and printers 
to the Holy See are strictly forbidden to change it in print- 
ing new missals. A still more striking instance is the fol- 
lowing: As far back as the year 1815, when devotion to St. 
Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin and foster-father of 
our Divine Lord, was making rapid headway, the Sacred Con- 
gregation of Rites was earnestly besought to grant permission 
to add the name of this venerable patriarch to this part of 
the Mass, one of the reasons assigned for making the request 

The Canon — its Antiquity, former Names, etc, 297 

being that many persons had a particular devotion to him. 
The request was not granted, the reply to the petition being 
negative; and this was denominated a response urbis et 
orbis — that is, one binding in Eome and everywhere else. 


That the Canon is of very great antiquity all writers and 
critics admit. The precise date at which it was composed, 
and who its real author was, still remain among the dis- 
puted questions. Certain it is, however, that a hand has 
not touched it since the time of Pope Gregory the Great — 
that is, since the early part of the seventh century — and 
what that pontiff added to it was so very little that we 
would be almost justified in saying that it takes us back, in 
its present form, to those days in the past when we could 
converse with men who spoke face to face with our Divine 
Lord himself and his blessed apostles. The Church pos- 
sesses nothing more venerable than this sacred memorial. 


The Canon was known in early times by a variety of 
names. Pope Gregory the Great always called it the Prayer; 
by St. Cyprian it was styled the Oration ; by St. Ambrose, 
the Ecclesiastical Rule; and by St. Basil, the Secret. To 
indicate its great excellence, many of the ancient Fathers 
called it the Action, and we see this word yet retained as 
the heading of the prayer " Communicantes." 


That the Canon formerly included the Preface, just as it 
does to-day in the Oriental Church, we have the most in- 
dubitable proofs. In the Sacramentary of Pope Gelasius, 
for instance, it is thus introdn^ ' "Incipit canon actionis; 

298 Tlie Celebration of Mast. 

Sursum corda ; habemus ad Dominium" etc. (Le Brun, Ex* 
plieat. de la Messe, ii. p. Ill, note). 


Out of the great respect that is due to this most solemn 
portion of the Mass, as well as to secure the utmost recol- 
lection on the part of the priest and people, it has been cus- 
tomary from time immemorial to recite it throughout in 
secret. Another reason, too, that is often given for this 
laudable practice is that the sacred words may be kept from 
becoming too common — a thing which could hardly be avoid- 
ed if they were read in a tone audible to all ; for, inasmuch 
as the Canon seldom changes, the same words would be heard 
upon every occasion, and in process of time thoughtless per- 
sons would have committed them to memory, and perhaps 
might use them in common parlance, to the great disedifica- 
tion of our holy religion. (For a very low misapplication 
of the sacred words of institution, which originally took rise 
in the way we are speaking of, the reader is referred to 
Disraeli's Amenities of Literature.) 

A very singular story touching the silence observed in 
reciting the Canon is related in the Spiritual Meadow, a 
book written about the year 630 by a holy recluse named 
John Moschus. The book received the encomiums of the 
Fathers of the seventh General Council, held at Nicaea m 
787, and it therefore carries some authority with it. It is 
therein stated that a party of boys guarding flocks in 
Apamea, in Syria, took it into their heads one day to while 
away a portion of their time by going through the cere- 
monies of Mass. One acted as celebrant, another as deacon, 
and a third as subdeacon. All went along pleasantly, as 
the story relates, until he who personated the celebrant pro- 
nounced the sacred words of consecration, when suddenly a 

Manner of Reading the Canon, 299 

ball of fire, rapid and fierce as a meteor, fell down from 
heaven, and so stunned the boys that they fell prostrate on 
the ground. When this singular occurrence was afterwards 
related to the bishop of the place, he went to examine the 
spot, and, having learned all the particulars of the case, 
caused a church to be built thereon to commemorate so 
remarkable an event. From this circumstance, it is said, 
the Church derives her custom of reciting the Canon in 
secret. Be this as it may, the ablest liturgical writers 
maintain that the Canon has been recited in secret from its 
very institution (Romsee, iv. p. 175). 

As a precedent for this solemn silence many examples 
may be adduced from Holy Writ. On the great day of 
Atonement, for instance, while the high-priest was offering 
incense to Jehovah on the golden altar, a deep silence pre- 
vailed throughout the entire temple, and all the people re- 
cited their prayers in secret. To this solemn silence St. 
John evidently alludes when he says that at the opening of 
the seventh seal "there was silence in heaven, as it were 
for half an hour " (Apoc. viii. 1). Mention is also made of 
it in the Mishna in describing the " drink offering " : 
" Then came the time of the drink offering, when, having 
given him the wine of which it consisted, the Sagan, 1 who 
stood beside the horn of the altar, observed the time for 
pouring it out, and with a napkin gave the signal for the 
music to begin. The reason of their being so long was that 
the perfect sacrifice might be before God, and that silence 
best suited so solemn a duty " (Bannister, Temples of th$ 
Hebrews, pp. 211, 329 ; see also Habacuc, ii. 20). 

1 The Sagan, though not mentioned by name in the Holy Scriptures, was neverthless 
looked upon as a very important minister by the Jews, for it was he who discharged the 
duties of the high-priest whenever the latter, through any indisposition or le"" 1 defile- 
ment, was unable to act (Bannister, p. 190). 

300 The Celebration of Mass. 


In all the missals of the present day a picture represent- 
ing our Lord crucified, and gazed at in sorrowful contem- 
plation by the three Marys — viz., Mary of Cleophas, Mary 
Magdalene, and Mary the Mother of God — is inserted, in 
order to recall vividly to the mind of the priest that, at this 
most solemn part of the Mass, he should be wholly intent 
on his crucified Kedeemer. That the practice of inserting 
a picture here is very ancient may be seen from several early 
manuscripts, and almost every liturgist of note refers to it. 
Honorius of Autun, who flourished towards the beginning 
of the twelfth century, thus writes of it : i i Hie in libris 
crucifixum ideo depingitur quia per illud passio Christi 
oculis cordis ingeritur" {Gemma Animce, cap. 103, " De 
Canone ") — that is, Here a crucifix is painted in the missals, 
in order that by it the Passion of Christ may be fixed in the 
eyes of the heart. Pope Innocent III. also alludes to the 
practice, and dwells particularly on the striking coincidence 
that the very first prayer of the Canon begins with one of 
the ancient representations of the cross — viz., the letter T. 
In many early missals this letter was beautifully illuminated 
and made very large, in order that the eye of the priest 
might rest upon it, and, in doing so, that he might remem- 
ber the mysterious Thau of the prophet Ezechiel, which 
was ordered to be made on the foreheads of the men " that 
sigh and mourn for all the abominations that are committed 
in the midst." In Leofric's Missal, of Anglo-Saxon times, 
this letter is splendidly illuminated in gold, and so very long 
that it nearly stretches the whole length of the page. In a 
folio vellum copy of the Salisbury Missal, which was written 
towards the middle of the fourteenth century, the letter is 
so drawn out as to hold within it an illuminated picture of 
Abraham about to sacrifice his only son, Isaac ( Church of 
Our Fathers, i. p. 103). 

" Te Igitur." 301 

In many churches the custom prevailed of kissing the 
picture at the beginning of the Canon, when the priest 
came to that part, and at Milan, where the Ambrosian Rite 
is kept up, the custom is in vogue of washing the hands 

While reciting the opening words of this prayer the 
priest is profoundly inclined, with hands resting upon the 
altar; but when he comes to the words, " these gifts, these 
presents, these holy and unspotted sacrifices," he becomes 
erect and makes three crosses over the oblation. The 
crosses made at this place now more strongly than ever re- 
mind us that we are fast approaching that solemn moment 
at which He who wrought our salvation on the cross of Cal- 
vary will be present on our altar. The reader who wishes 
to see their various mystic interpretations will do well to 
consult Durandus [Rationale Divin., p. 241). The literal 
meaning of these three crosses is, according to De Vert 
(Explic. Rub. Miss., tome iii. p. 1, rub. 122), founded on a 
very ancient custom yet in vogue with the members of the 
Carthusian Order — viz., of making two equal divisions of the 
Hosts used for Communion, and placing one on each side of 
the large Host. When the breads were so arranged the 
priest would make a separate cross over each portion and 
over the large Host placed in the centre, thus forming 
three crosses in all. Although this custom went into desue- 
tude soon after its introduction, De Vert still maintains that 
the three crosses have been retained as a vestige of it. 

There was great diversity of usage in former times about 
the number of crosses made here, as may be seen from 
some of the ancient sacramentaries. In the G-allican there 
was but one cross prescribed. In the Gelasian there were as 
many as five, and these, it is supposed, in memory of the 

302 The Celebration of Mass. 

Five Wounds. So great was the diversity of practice in this 
matter that St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, wrote for 
advice upon the subject to Pope Zachary (741 to 752), and 
received a response to the effect that wherever a cross was 
required to be made it would be marked for him in the 
Canon. According to Romsee, whenever there is but one 
cross it signifies the unity of the Divine Essence ; when 
two are made, the duality of natures in our Divine Lord is 
signified ; three crosses are typical of the Blessed Trinity, 
and five of the Five Wounds (iv. p. 180). 

In the first prayer of the Canon the priest prays for the 
Universal Church at large, and for its visible head upon 
earth, the Supreme Pontiff, by name ; then for the bishop 
of the diocese in which he is celebrating ; and, finally, for 
all the orthodox upholders of the Catholic Faith. In men- 
tioning the reigning Pope he gives him the first part of his 
official title, without adding anything else to particularize 
him — thus, "Pius," "Gregory," "Leo," or whatever else 
the name be — and makes a slight bow to the missal as he 
pronounces it, out of reverence for the name of the Vicar 
of Christ. The bishop of the diocese is mentioned in the 
same way, but without any bow of the head. In case the 
diocese should be ruled by a bishop administrator or co- 
adjutor while the real bishop, through some indisposition, 
is unable to attend to it, the name of the indisposed bishop 
must, nevertheless, be inserted, and not that of the admin- 
istrator or coadjutor. When a bishop himself says Mass, 
instead of saying, " and our bishop, N.," he says, "and I, 
thy unworthy servant," without expressing his name. 
When the Holy Father celebrates he says, " I, thy un- 
worthy servant, whom thou hast wished should preside 
over thy flock." If the Mass be celebrated at Rome no 
bishop's name is mentioned after the Pope's, for there is 
no other bishop of Rome but the Holy Father himself. 

" Te Igitur." 303 

What has been said here of bishops, of course, applies also 
to archbishops, patriarchs, and cardinals, no matter of what 
grade. The members of religious orders are not permitted 
to insert here the name of their superior, but must, like 
secular priests, add that of the bishop of the diocese. 

" Pro omnibus orthodoxis "— 
" For all the orthodox." 

Since there are two expressions in the latter part of this 
first prayer which mean one and the same thing, many 
writers have supposed that by the word orthodox are here 
meant all those who are outside the visible unity of the 
Church by schism only ; according to which the present 
Greek Church with its offshoot, that of the Russian Empire, 
would be included. The reader need hardly be told that 
any given Church may be schismatic without being heretical 
at the same time. The one neither means nor necessarily 
implies the other. The one may, theologically speaking, be 
sound in the faith ; the other never can be. A heretic, from 
the very derivation of the word (aipeoo), is one who consti- 
tutes himself a judge and chooses his faith upon the strength 
of his own private authority. A schismatic, strictly speak- 
ing, is one who separates or cuts himself off ((T^/^g?) from 
the outward unity of the Church by refusing assent to some 
point of discipline, or authority to the chief pastor. Now, 
although the so-called Greek Church has been schismatio 
since the ninth century, with little exception, still it has 
never by any formal act been declared heretical by the Holy 
See ; and until the Holy See passes judgment upon it and 
pronounces it heretical no private authority has a right to 
do so. Some think, therefore, that it is no distortion of the 
meaning of this prayer to suppose that it refers to, or at 
least includes, schismatics when it speaks of the orthodox^ 

304 The Celebration of Mast. 

for, as they say, a person may be orthodox — that is, sound 
in the faith — and still be outside the visible unity of the 
Church. The principal objection to this interpretation is, 
that the Church is not accustomed to share the Holy Sacri- 
fice of the Mass with those who are wilfully out of her 
( ommunion. (See the Catholic World for the months of 
March and April, 1877; articles, "The Kussian Chancellor" 
and "Natalie Narischkin. ") 


In countries where Catholicity is the established religion 
it is customary in this prayer to add the name of the sove- 
reign on the throne immediately after that of the diocesan 
bishop. The Venetians used to insert the name of the 
grand doge here. For some time the Hungarians prayed at 
this place for the king, but by a recent decree of the Holy 
See the title of emperor has been substituted instead (Koz- 
ma, p. 198). A priest celebrating in any part of the Aus- 
trian dominions, therefore, is bound to observe this rule. 
It is hardly necessary to add that without the express per- 
mission of the Holy See it is unlawful to insert any name 
whatever in this place. 


We have already stated that the Canon of the Oriental 
€hurch begins at the Preface. That of the Liturgy of St. 
Basil the Great is ushered in with this solemn admonition : 
w Come forward, men ! Stand with trembling awe and 
look towards the east." According to nearly all the Orien- 
tal liturgies, some such warning precedes the Canon, and 
the moment the people hear it they become at once erect 
and attentive. The Maronite laity, who use staves in 
church to lean upon, as the modern custom of sitting down 
at Mass is not in vogue with them, are required to stand up 

Canon of the Oriental Church. 305 

here without any support whatever, as a mark of great re- 
spect for this most solemn part of divine service. The form 
of prayer for the spiritual and temporal ruler with the Ai\ 
menians is thus worded : "For our lord the most holy Pa- 
triarch N., for his health and the salvation of his soul." 
Then the minor clergy are mentioned : "for all vartabeds, 3 
priests, deacons, and subdeacons." After this comes the 
name of the sovereign on the throne: "the emperor, the 
imperial family, the court, and the camp." This prayer as- 
sumes formidable proportions in the Eussian Church, foi 
every member of the imperial family must be mentioned in 
it by name, and woe to the poor priest or bishop who would 
dare to omit one of them ; for the czar is supreme in spi- 
rituals as well as in temporals throughout that empire, and 
arrogates the right to himself of having his name and title, 
wherever they appear, always written in capital letters (Ton- 
dini, The Pojie of Rome and the Eastern Popes, p. 95). 

The prayer for the temporal ruler in the Liturgy of St. 
Mark is very beautiful. It runs thus : " The orthodox and 
Christ-loving king : . . . lay hands upon the shield and 
/buckler, and stand up to help him ; . . . cover his head in 
the day of battle ; speak good things to his heart for thy 
Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and all the people 
that loveth Christ." 

The prayer in St. Clement's Liturgy is thus expressed : 
f For every episcopate under heaven of those who rightly 
divide the word of thy truth let us make our supplication ; 
and for our Bishop James and his parishes let us make our 
supplication ; for the Bishop Clement and his parishes let 
us make our supplication ; for our Bishop Evodius and his 
parishes let us make our supplication, that the merciful 
God may vouchsafe them to their holy ohurches, safe, hon- 

* By Vartabed the Armenians understand a monastic or celibate prieet. They ar« 
generally the preachers of the Word in the East. 

306 The Celebration of Mass. 

orable, full of length of days, and may afford tliem an hon- 
orable old age in piety and righteousness." 


As the priest begins this prayer he moves his hands 
slowly before his face, and, having united them, rests in 
meditation awhile, pausing over those for whom he intends 
to pray particularly. He is at liberty to remember here 
— privately, of course — whomsoever he pleases, no matter 
whether he be in the Church or out of it ; for the prayer 
is private, and the Church exercises no jurisdiction over 
private prayers. This memento is worded as follows : 
"Remember, Lord, thy servants, male and female, N.N. 
[pause], and all here present, whose faith is known to thee 
and devotion manifest ; for whom we offer, or who offer 
to thee, this sacrifice of praise, for themselves and all that 
belong to them, for the redemption of their souls, for the 
hope of their salvation and safety, and who render their 
vows to thee, the Eternal, Living, and True God." 

Regarding the expression, "who offer to thee," as applied 
to the people, the reader must not suppose that the right 
or power of offering sacrifice in the true sense is meant, for 
the people cannot do this, but only the priest. The expres- 
sion is a familiar form for signifying co-operation in the 
sacred mystery, and directly refers to the ancient practice of 
receiving offerings from the people in the shape of bread 
and wine for altar purposes. According to Romsee (p. 187), 
the particle " or " in this prayer must be considered a copu* 
lative conjunction, and not a disjunctive one ; and that hence 
the wording in its true sense would be, "for whom we offer, 
and wPjo offer unto thee," etc. Regarding the word "vo- 
ta," translated by us as vows, it is well to remark that 
what are technically called by that name, whether they be 

Dissertation on the Diptychs, 307 

simple vows or solemn ones, are here meant only in a very 
remote sense ; the direct application of the word is to be 
taken in the sense of pious desires, thanksgivings, and 'pri- 
vate intentions (Romsee, p. 189). 

Formerly it was customary to read aloud at the letters 
"N.N." of this memento the names of all those who were 
entitled to special mention. In Solemn High Mass the duty 
of doing this devolved upon the deacon, who would stand 
for this purpose on the altar-steps, or ascend the ambo, 
which was the more general way ; but in Low Mass the duty 
devolved upon the priest, who turned round to the congre- 
gation at this place, and read the names from folded tablets 
called diptychs. According to the general opinion of litur- 
gists, this custom lasted, with little interruption, up to the 
eleventh century, when, on account of the excessive vain- 
glory that many indulged in at hearing their names and 
offerings read out in public, the Church thought well to 
discontinue it (Romsee, p. 185). 


The diptychs, from the Greek 6i* y twice, and nrvacJ0D i \ 
fold, were, agreeably to their derivation, tablets folding in 
two somewhat after the manner of a writing portfolio, and 
having three separate columns of equal extent In the 
first of these columns were inscribed the names of the 
holy martyrs who openly died for the faith, and who, 
from the fact of their being mentioned here, were said 
to be canonized — that is, worthy of being named in the 
Canon of the Mass. This was the primitive way of 
bringing about canonization ; and a vestige of it is yet 
kept up, for, according to the present discipline, when any 
servant of God has been declared a saint it is customary 
for our Holy Father the Pope to invoke him in the Mass 
said on that occasion, after the other saints mentioned 

308 The Celebration of Mass. 

(ffierurgia, p. 480, note). The second column contained 
the names of those who were illustrious among the living, or 
held places of eminence either in the temporal or spiritual 
order, such as the Supreme Pontiff, the patriarch, arch- 
bishop, or bishop of the diocese, and after these the ruling 
prince or sovereign. In this same column were also inserted 
the names of those for whose special intention the Mass was 
offered, or who contributed bountifully towards the wants of 
the altar and the support of its sacred ministers. As it was 
strictly forbidden to receive gifts from those whose lives 
were in any way scandalous, or who were not considered, 
strictly speaking, practical Catholics, so it was also forbid- 
den to insert their names in the sacred tablets, no matter 
how exalted a position in life they otherwise held. In the 
third column of the diptychs were enrolled those of the 
dead who departed life in full communion with the Church, 
but who were not otherwise in any degree remarkable. The 
substance of these three columns is now distributed among 
the following prayers, viz. : the first memento, the " Com- 
municantes," the " Nobis quoque peccatoribus," and the 
second memento. 

Here we call the reader's attention again to yet another 
proof of the reluctance of the Church to make any altera- 
tion in the Canon. Although the custom of reading the 
names of the living and the dead has long since ceased, still 
the letters "N. N.," where this reading occurred, have never 
been removed, although they serve no particular purpose 
now, nor is the priest required to pause at them in celebrat- 
ing, as he was of old. 

Ceremonies attending the Reading of the Diptychs. — In 
many of the ancient cathedral churches a very great dis- 
play used to be made — almost as great as that made at the 
Gospel — when the time for reading the diptyohs had arrived. 
We have said that, as a general rule, they were read from 

Dissertation on the Diptychs. 309 

the ambo. For this reason it was customary for the entire 
congregation to turn their eyes in this direction ; and such 
of them as could conveniently do it would flock around the 
ambo and remain there until all the names had been read. 
Whenever any name was read out which was entitled to 
special veneration it was usual to exclaim : " Gloria tibi, 
Domine" — " Glory be to thee, Lord " — as if to thank God 
for the favors bestowed on such individuals. This was done 
at a Mass celebrated during the session of the fifth General 
Council, held in 553 at Constantinople, when the names 
of Pope Leo the Great and those of the saintly bishops 
Macedonius and Euphemius were read out (Selvaggio, i. 
p. 21 ; Bona, p. 345). Sometimes, too, the names of those 
general councils in which some remarkable dogma of faith 
was defined or heresy condemned were also read for the 
gratification of the people (ibid. ) When the names of the 
persons to be prayed for reached a very high figure, in order 
not to increase the tedium of the people, a catalogue of 
them was drawn up and placed on the altar before the eyes 
of the priest, who would remember them in this man- 
ner : " Remember, Lord ! thy servants, male and fe- 
male, and those also who have a special claim to be men- 
tioned in the sight of thy Divine Majesty ; of those, too, 
whose names we are looking at or express in words." 
Martene tells us that in some churches the practice pre- 
vailed through the ninth century of having the subdeacon 
recite, in a low whisper, to the celebrant the names of those 
who deserved special commemoration (De Antiquis Ecct 
Ritibus, f. 37). The only rite which yet retains the reading 
of the diptychs in the Latin Church is the Mozarabic. 

Diptychs of the Oriental Church. — That the reading of 
the diptychs is yet kept up in all the churches of the East 
may be seen from a glance at any of their liturgies, where 
we find special directions given on this head to the deacon 

310 The Celebration of Mass, 

of the Mass. The order of the memento in the Coptic 
diptychs is, first, for the Church at large, then for bishops 
in general, after this for their patriarch and all the orders 
of the clergy, and, finally, for the favorable flow of the 
Nile. In the Greek Liturgy of St. Basil mention of the 
Pope is made ; but this is not, as some have supposed, the 
Pope of Rome, but rather the Patriarch of Alexandria, to 
whom this title is always given in the East. In some of 
the churches of Syria it is customary to say " Kyrie eleison " 
after every name read from the diptychs (Renaudot, 
Liturg. Orient., ii. p. 96). As there is nothing else of any 
great importance in this second prayer of the Canon, we 
now pass on to the third prayer, or the " Communicantes." 


The priest, remaining in the same place and preserving 
the same attitude, with outstretched hands recites the third 
prayer of the Canon, which, in English, may be rendered 
as follows : " Communicating and venerating the memory, 
in the first place, of the ever glorious Virgin Mary, Mother 
of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, as also of thy blessed 
Apostles and Martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, 
John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, 
Simon and Thaddseus, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, 
Cornelius, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas 
and Damian, and of all thy saints, by whose merits and 
prayers grant that we may be aided in everything, and 
fortified by thy help ; through the same Christ, onr Lord." 

The Saints mentioned in this Prayer. — As is just and pro- 
per, because she has the proud title of Queen of Saints and 
Martyrs, our Blessed Lady's name heads the list in this 
sacred catalogue, where she is commemorated as the " ever 
glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God, our Lord Jesus 

Third Prayer, or the " ' Communicantes" 311 

Christ." There is not a liturgy in the East or West in 
which our Heavenly Queen, with her singular prerogatives, 
is not mentioned. In the Liturgy of St. James she is styled 
"the most holy, immaculate, exceedingly glorious, blessed 
Lady, Mother of God, and ever Virgin Mary." In that of 
St. Chrysostom she is denominated " the most holy, un de- 
filed, exceedingly laudable, glorious Lady, Mother of God, 
and ever Virgin Mary." The Liturgy of St. Basil the 
Great styles her " the all-holy, immaculate, super-eminently 
blessed, glorious Lady, Mother of God, and ever Virgin 
Mary "; and in the Coptic version of the same she is com- 
memorated in the following manner : " Above all, the most 
holy, most glorious, immaculate, blessed Lady of ours, 
Mother of God, and ever Virgin Mary. " Nor are the Nes- 
torians, who deny her the title of Mother of God, behind- 
hand, for all that, in showing her every other mark of reve- 
rence and respect. They invoke her as follows : " The 
prayers of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus our Saviour, 
be to us at all times a wall of defence by day and by night." 
And in another place they say of her : "Kejoice and exult, 
thou who art full of grace, holy and chaste Virgin Mary, 
Mother of Christ, because the archangel became a heavenly 
messenger unto thee, thou, Mother, who in virginity didst 
bring forth the Wonderful, the Counsellor, and Saviour of 
the world." The Eev. Mr. Badger, from whose work (Tlie 
Nestorians and their Rituals, ii. p. 249) we copy these words, 
declares his utter astonishment at the intense devotion mani- 
fested by these heretics to our Blessed Lady ; he is forced 
even to confess— with much reluctance, we may be sure, for 
he is a Protestant of the first water — that they do not 
scruple to apply to our Lady, now and then, the epithet 
Theotohos — that is, Mother of God — of which so much was 
gaid at the General Council of Ephesus in the year 431, 
where Nestorius himself was condemned. The reader will 

312 The Celebration of Mass. 

gee in this work of Badger many good points on the devo« 
tion of the Eastern heretics to our Blessed Lady. 

Before we enter on a history of the other saints mentioned 
in the " Oommunicantes " we deem it well to inform the 
reader that it is only those who are ranked as martyrs who 
have a place in the Canon ; and this is another proof of its 
great antiquity, for it was not until the fourth century that 
the Church instituted feasts in honor of the other classes of 

St. Peter. — The Prince of the Apostles was a native of 
Bethsaida, and, as tradition goes, was our Divine Lord's 
senior in age by about ten years. He received at his cir- 
cumcision the name of Simon, or Simeon, meaning in He- 
brew " Jehovah hath heard," but this was afterwards 
changed by our Lord to " Kipho," generally written Cephas 
in English, from the Syriac ] mS<tmS — a rock. St. Peter was 
a married man, but a very ancient tradition, upon which 
St. Jerome lays particular stress, assures us that after his 
call to the apostleship he and his wife (a very holy lady) 
agreed to live continent the rest of their lives. He 
had a daughter named Petronilla, whom the Church 
honors as a saint on May 31. Our glorious apostle, as 
is well known, suffered death under Nero on the Vati- 
can Hill, where, at his own request, he was crucified 
head downwards. He is represented in most of the early 
paintings as bald on the crown of the head, but having 
a thick circle of hair growing round the under part, after 
the manner of some of the clerical tonsures worn by members 
of religious orders. In Anglo-Saxon art he is always beard- 
less, to favor a long-standing tradition that the pagans, in 
order to make him as despicable-looking as possible in the 
eyes of the people, shaved his head closely. Ever since the 
eighth century it has been customary to represent him with 
a pair of keys in hand, symbolic of his power in heaven and 

Third Prayer, or the " Communicantes." 313 

on earth. Many will have it appear that the ecclesiastical 
tonsure, so-called, owes its origin to the indignity practised 
on our apostle by the pagans — viz., shaving his head. 

St. Paul. — St. Paul was a native of Tarsus, a city of 
Cilicia, in Asia Minor. After his miraculous conversion to 
the faith he went to Jerusalem, where, through the medi- 
ation of his companion, St. Barnabas, he made the acquaint- 
ance of SS. Peter and James. With the former he became 
associated in the see of Rome, and together with him suf- 
fered martyrdom about the year 67 of our era and the 
twelfth of the reign of Nero. The two holy apostles are 
generally named together, for, as the Church sings of them, 
"in life they loved each other ; in death they are not sepa- 
rated." According to some, our apostle changed his first 
name, Saul, to Paul through respect for the Proconsul 
Sergius Paulus, whom he converted to the faith. Others 
say that he took the name from the Latin paulus, "little/ 
because, as he says in his own profound humility, he was 
the least of the apostles. 

St. Andreiv, November 30. — St. Andrew was St. Peter's 
brother, but whether his senior in years or not the New 
Testament does not say. Upon the portioning out of the 
globe among the twelve Scythia was assigned as the field of 
his labors. He finally penetrated Cappadocia, Galatia, 
Bithynia, and the parts around the Euxine Sea, and end- 
ed his days, like his Divine Master, by dying on the cross. 
This, according to the best authorities, happened at Pa- 
tras, a city of Achaia. In the fourth century some of his 
relics were taken to Scotland by St. Regulus, from which 
fact he has been venerated as the patron of the country 
and of its first order of knighthood, or that known as the 
"Order of the Thistle."' He is also the patron of the 

* The collar of the Order of the Thistle is made of thistles and rue. The one cannot 
be touched without hurt ; the other is an antidote against poison, 

314 The Celebration of Mass. 

u Order of tlie Golden Fleece " of Burgundy, founded by 
Philip the Good in 1429, and of the entire empire of Rus- 
sia, together with its great order, known as the " Order of 
the Cross of St. Andrew." In heraldry our saint is gene- 
rally represented with a cross decussate, or saltier. When 
blended with the cross of St. George and the saltier gules 
of St. Patrick this cross forms the English flag familiarly 
known as the "Union Jack."* 

St. James, July 25. — This blessed apostle, generally 
known as St. James the Greater, because of his seniority 
in years to St. James, commonly styled the " brother of the 
Lord," was son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of St. 
John the Evangelist. It was this apostle who, in company 
with St. Peter and St. John, formed the three that were 
present on Thabor at our Lord's Transfiguration and in the 
Garden of Olives when his agony began. By command 
of Herod Agrippa, who, as the Acts of the Apostles relate 
(chap, xii.), "stretched forth his hands to afflict some of 
the Church," he was " killed with the sword." This hap- 
pened about the year 43. The body of the apostle was first 
interred at Jerusalem, but was finally removed to Spain, 
where it is alleged he once preached the Gospel, and de- 
posited at Iria Flavia, now El Padron, on the confines of 
Galicia. By order of Alphonsus the Chaste, King of Leon, 
it was subsequently transferred to Compostella (a corruption 
of Giacomo Postolo), in whose cathedral it lies at present. 
From this circumstance our blessed apostle has been chosen 
as the Patron of Spain under the name of Sant Iago di Com- 
postella. A military order, known as that of " St. James the 
Noble," was established in his honor by Ferdinand II. in 1175. 

* The name " Jack," as need here, is nothing else but a corruption of the French 
" Jacques," James, and had its origin in the fact that, at the accession of King James 
I., the cross of St. George and that of St. Andrew were united in one, thus forming th« 
original " Union Jack." 

Third Prayer, or the " Communicantes." 315 

St. John. December 27.— This holy apostle and Evange- 
list, called in the -New Testament " the disciple whom Jesus 
loved," was a Galilean by birth. According to a tradition of 
long standing, he is said to have dwelt at Jerusalem until 
the death of our Blessed Lad}% which took place, it is said. 
about the year 48, and that then he journeyed into Asia, 
where he is said to have founded the seven churches men- 
tioned in his Apocalypse. Authentic accounts say that he 
died and was buried at Ephesus when about one hundred 
years of age. According to Polycrates, St. John always wore 
the golden plate of the Jewish high-priest upon his fore- 
head, upon which was engraved " Kodesh le Jehovah n — - 
"Holiness to Jehovah." The Greeks generally style him 
" St. John the Divine." From his great purity, having 
always led a single life, and from his singular intimacy with 
our Divine Lord, many of the Oriental Fathers held that he 
was taken up, body and soul, to heaven like Enoch and 
Elias. Though he died a natural death, he is by all es- 
teemed a martyr from the fact that he submitted to mar- 
tyrdom when cast by order of Domitian into a caldron of 
boiling oil, from which he escaped unhurt. 

St. Thomas, December 21. — According to the most general 
opinion, this apostle was by birth a Galilean. Parthia was 
given as his field of labors when the portioning out of the 
globe was made among the twelve. He is said to have met 
death by being run through with a spear by the Brahmins 
of India. As he is universally styled the " Doubting Disci- 
ple " (from the fact of his saying that he would not believe 
the other apostles, who told him they had seen our Lord 
after he had risen from the dead on Easter Sunday, unless he 
saw him with his own eyes and examined his wounds), it is 
commonly said that the shortest day in the year was assigned 
as his feast day, to remind us of the shortness of his faith. 

St. James, May 1. — The second apostle mentioned by the 

316 TJie Celebration of Mass, 

name of James is lie who is generally styled the "brother oi 
our Lord," from a Hebrew usage of thus naming cousins- 
german. He is called "James the Less" from being 
younger than the other of the same name, and " James the 
Just " on account of his great sanctity. He is said to be the 
son of Alphaeus and Mary (sister of the Blessed Virgin). 
It is the general opinion that he was the first bishop of 
Jerusalem, having been appointed to that see soon after our 
Lord's Ascension. Like the "Beloved Disciple," he is said 
to have always worn the plate of gold peculiar to the Jewish 
high-priest, as an ensign of his consecration to the Lord. 
According to Hegesippus, quoted by St. Jerome, and others, 
he met death by being cast by the Jews from the battle- 
ments of the Temple and afterwards despatched with a blow 
from a fuller's club. It is said that the resemblance of this 
apostle to our Lord was so great that it was difficult to tell 
the two apart, for which reason Judas found it necessary to 
tell his band to seize upon him whom he would address. 
" Whomsoever I shall kiss," said he, "that is he ; lay hold 
of him and lead him away carefully" (Mark xiv. 44). Ac- 
cording to the legend, St. James said he would eat nothing 
from the time he partook of the Last Supper until our Lord 
had risen from the dead. Soon after the Eesurrection it is 
said that our Lord appeared to him and asked for a table 
and some bread, whereupon he said to the saint : " My 
brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from 
among them that sleep." According to St. Gregory of 
Tours, our saint's remains were interred on Mount Olivet in 
a tomb which he had built for himself. He is the author of 
the Catholic Epistle called after his name, and which the 
disdainful heretic Luther denominated " Epistola strami- 
nea" — an "Epistle of straw" — because it says very point- 
edly that faith without good works is dead, for which reason 
Protestants rejected it formerly. 

Third Prayer, or the "Communicantes." 317 

St. Philip, May 1.-— St. Philip was born at Bethsaida, 
and received as the place of his apostolic labors, upper Asia. 
He finally came to Hierapolis, in Phrygia, where he suffered 
martyrdom at a very advanced age. One of his arms was 
brought from Constantinople to Florence in the year 1204 ; 
the rest of his body is kept in the Church of SS. Philip and 
James at Rome. 

St. Bartholomew, August 24.— According to the most ex- 
act commentators, our saint and Nathanael are one and the 
same person. He is said to have been born at Cana of Gali- 
lee. His name, Bartholomew, comes from the Syriac bar, 
a son, and Tolmai, a proper name. 5 As to the precise man- 
ner of this apostle's death authorities are not agreed, but 
all hold that he died a martyr, and this, according to St. 
Gregory of Tours, in Greater Armenia. One of his arms, 
it is said, was sent by the Bishop of Benevento to St. Ed- 
ward of England (Edward the Confessor), who deposited it 
in the Cathedral of Canterbury. In art he is generally 
represented with a butcher's flaying-knife, the supposed 
instrument of his torture, in commemoration of which the 
strange custom of bestowing such knives as gifts on the 
recurrence of the feast once prevailed at Croyland Abbey. 

St. Matthew, September 21. — St. Matthew was, according 
to the most general opinion, a native of Nazareth, and a 
publican by profession. His original name was Levi, but 
this he abandoned when he became an apostle. Ethiopia 
is generally assigned as the field of his apostolic labors — not 
the African Ethiopia, but that which corresponds with the 
ancient Chaldea. At Nadabar, a city of this region, he is 
said to have ended his days by martyrdom. 

• Before the Captivity, when the Jews spoke the true Hebrew, the name for son was 
" Ben," thus : Benjamin— son of my right hand ; Benoni— son of my anguish ; but 
after the Captivity, when the pure Hebrew was no longer spoken, but only the Aramaic 
or Syriac, a son was designated by the term "Bar," thus : Bar-Jona — son of Jonah 
Bartimeus— son of Timeus ; Barabbas (strangely enough) — son of his father. 

318 The Celebration of Mass. 

St. Simon, October 28.— To distinguish this saint from 
the Prince of the Apostles, who was called Simon Peter, 
and from St. Simon, brother of St. James the Less, he is 
generally known as Simon the Cananean, and sometimes 
Simon Zelotes. According to St. Jerome, the epithet last 
mentioned is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Chanaan- 
tie, a zealous imitator, so that it must not be supposed that 
our apostle was a native of Cana from having this epithet 
attached to his name. According to the Greek menology, 
our apostle passed over into Britain towards the end of his 
career, and was there crowned with martyrdom. 

St. Thaddeus, October 28.— This apostle is known in the 
New Testament by three different names — viz., Jude, Thad- 
deus, and Lebbams. By the last-mentioned name he is called 
in the Greek text of St. Matthew. It is generally under- 
stood that our apostle changed his first name, Jade, to his 
second, Thaddceus, in order not to have the same name as 
the traitor Judas Iscariot. Others say that he did so out 
of respect for the ineffable name of Jehovah, which the Jews 
would never pronounce. His field of labor was first Sama- 
ria, then Syria and the eastern parts. His martyrdom is 
said to have occurred in Persia. He wrote an Epistle, which, 
like that of St. James, is denominated Catholic, from the 
fact that it was addressed to no Church in particular, but 
to Christendom at large. 

St. Linus, September 23.— St. Linus was the immediate 
successor of St. Peter in the Eoman see, over which he 
reigned twelve years, and suffered martyrdom about the year 
of our Lord 87. 

St. Cletas, April 26.— St. Cletus succeeded St. Linus as 
pope, and ruled the Church for about thirteen years. His 
martyrdom is said to have taken place about the year 91. 
There has always been much dispute as to whether this 
saint and Anacletus are two distinct persons or one and the 

Third Prayer, or the "Communicantes." 319 

same. Most probably they were different. In the Gerar- 
chia Cattolica Anacletus is reported to have governed the 
Church from a.d. 100 to 112, and that then he died a mar- 
tyr. The two are also distinguished in the Liberian Cal- 

St. Clement, November 23. — St. Clement, the companion 
and fellow-laborer of St. Paul, was, according to the most 
reliable accounts, a Jew by birth. He is specially men- 
tioned by the Apostle of the Gentiles as having his name in 
the "Book of Life." An epistle written by him to the 
Christians of Rome in their severe hours of trial has been 
looked upon by many as a work of inspiration ; and, from 
its great resemblance to St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, 
the authorship of the latter has been often called into ques- 
tion. St. Clement met death, it is said, by decapitation, 
under the persecution of Trajan. 

St. Xystus, August 6. — He suffered martyrdom under 
Valerian in 258. 

St. Cornelius, September 16. — St. Cornelius was pope 
from a.d. 254 to 255. He is styled by St. Cyprian "a 
blessed martyr." 

St. Cyprian, September 16. — This saint was born at Car- 
thage, in Africa, and suffered martyrdom about the year 
258. When the decree concerning his torture was read to 
him he is reported to have exclaimed in a transport of holy 
joy, "Deo gratias!" — "Thanks be to God!" Our saint's 
name will be ever held in remembrance from the celebrated 
controversy he had with the bishops of Numidia about the 
validity of baptism given by heretics. Pope St. Stephen 
pronounced such baptism valid, and forbade any steps what- 
ever to be taken to reiterate it, saying : " Nihil innovetur 
nisi quod traditum est" — that is, " There must be no inno- 
vation upon what has been handed down by traditional 

320 The Celebration of Mass, 

St. Laurence, August 10. — It is generally supposed that 
St. Laurence was by birth a Spaniard. All are unanimous 
in saying that he suffered martyrdom in a.d. 258, and this 
on an instrument made after the manner of a gridiron, 
which was heated to redness and then the saint placed upon 
it. One of the most celebrated monuments built in honor 
of him now in existence is the famous palace of the Escu- 
rial, fifteen miles from Madrid, in Spain, which was found- 
ed by Philip II. in 1557, out of gratitude for a victory over 
the French at St. Quentin, in Picardy, on the feast of St. 
Laurence. The palace is built in the shape of a gridiron, 
the royal apartments forming the handle, and the church 
the body of the instrument. It is built of solid granite, 
700 feet long, 564 wide, and 330 feet high. Over one of its 
main grand entrances are six beautifully-finished statues, 
each seventeen feet high, of Kings David, Solomon, Josa- 
phat, Ezechias, Manasses, and Josias. This structure is 
one of the greatest curiosities, perhaps, in the world. 

St. Chrysogonus, November 24. — Very little is recorded of 
this saint, further than that he was slain by the sword and 
then cast into the sea. His body was afterwards found and 
is now said to be kept at Venice. A church was built to his 
memory in the Trastevere in a.d. 599. 

SS. John and Paul, June 26.— These two saints were bro- 
thers and officers in the Eoman army together under Julian 
the Apostate. They received the crown of martyrdom about 
the year 362. 

SS. Cosmas and Damian, September 27.— There were three 
pairs of saints who bore the names of Cosmas and Damian, 
but it is almost universally admitted that the two mentioned 
here were those who suffered at Eome during the persecu- 
tion of Diocletian. 

The reader will remark that in the enumeration of the 
apostles in the " Communicantes " SS. Mark and Luke do 

Third Frayer, or the ' ' Communicantes." 321 

not occur, and this because it is not certain whether they were 
martyrs or not, and none but such are named in the Canon. 

" Communicantes " in the Eastern Church. — Protestants 
would fain have it believed that " saint- worship, " as they 
term the holy practice, is entirely confined to the Church of 
Kome and has no place at all in the churches of the East ; 
but evidence too strong to be rejected, or even called in 
question, proves that such is not the case ; that the Eastern 
Church as well as the Western believes, confesses, and prac- 
tises the doctrine that the saints of God, as such, ought to 
be revered, venerated, and invoked. 

"I believe and confess," says the Ritual of Eussia in its 
article on adult unction, "according to the understanding 
of the Holy Eastern Church, that the saints who reign with 
Christ in heaven are worthy to be honored and invoked, and 
that their prayers and intercession move the all-merciful 
God to the salvation of our souls" (Rites and Customs of the 
Or eco- Russian Church, by Romanoff, p. 308). Part of the 
Armenian "Communicantes" reads as follows: "0 Lord, 
through the intercession of the immaculate parent of thine 
only-begotten Son, the holy Mother of God, and the en- 
treaties of all thy saints, and of those who are commemo- 
rated this day, accept our prayers" (Smith and Dwight, 
Researches in Armenia, i. p. 185). The following extract 
will show that the Nestorians are sound on this doctrine 
also : "0 ye saints, prophets, apostles, doctors, confessors, 
martyrs, priests, and hermits, pray to Christ your strength 
for us all ; that through your prayers we may receive out 
of his treasure an answer to all our prayers as may be 
profitable to us" (from the collection of Collects at the 
end of the Ehudrah ; Badger, ii. p. 138). We could thus 
go on reciting at pleasure testimonies from all the 
churches of the East, to show how sacred a duty the 
veneration of the saints is considered to be in all those re. 

322 Tlie Celebration of Mass. 

gions, and how very efficacious before the throne of God ; 
but as what we have said is sufficient to convince any un- 
biassed mind of this fact, we do not think it necessary to 
continue the subject further. 


The priest, while reciting this prayer, keeps his hands 
spread out over the oblation, after the manner of the 
priests of the ancient law, who observed a similar usage 
in regard to the victims offered in sacrifice (Exod. xxix.; 
Levit. i. 4). As this prayer comes close upon consecra- 
tion, it is customary for the server to ring the little bell 
at the beginning of it, in order to remind the people of 
the near approach of that moment when our Divine Lord 
will be present on the altar. According to Durandus 
[Rationale, p. 249), Pope Leo the Great composed and in- 
serted the first part of this prayer down to the words 
"placatus accipias." The remainder was added by Pope 
Gregory the Great, in order to beg of God to avert the hor- 
rors of war and pestilence that threatened Eome in his 
time (Romsee, p. 199). 

An ancient Eoman ordo prescribed this prayer to be re- 
cited with hands raised aloft — a ceremony which the Do- 
minicans yet keep up, and which was formerly observed in 
all those places of England where the Sarum Rite was fol- 
lowed. The Carmelites recite it lowly bowed down with 
hands resting upon the altar. According to Romsee, our 
present custom dates no further back than the fifteenth 
century, and we see that the Orientals do not observe it. 


This prayer is worded thus: "Which oblation we be- 
seech thee, Lord ! that thou wouldst vouchsafe in all 
respects to bless, approve, ratify, make rational and ac- 
ceptable, that it may* become the Body and Blood of our 

Fifth Prayer, " Quam oblationem." 323 

Lord Jesus Christ." The Latin word " rationabilem " 
is here sometimes rendered in English by reasonable, 
sometimes by rational The latter is the better word, 
because less liable to be misunderstood, for the epi- 
thet is evidently given with a view to distinguish the 
effect which is about to be produced on the bread and 
wine from the sacrifices of the old law, all of which were 
irrational, inasmuch as they were constituted of nothing 
but of bulls, goats, etc. (Durandus, p. 253). 

In reciting the latter part of this prayer the priest 
makes five crosses over the oblation, three over the Host 
and chalice conjointly, and one over the Host and chalice 
singly. As to the peculiar import of these five crosses 
there is want of agreement among liturgical writers. No 
one, so far as we have seen, has attempted any other ex- 
planation of them than a purely mystical one. Some say 
they are commemorative of the Five Wounds; others that 
fchey are intended to recall to mind the threefold delivery 
of our Lord — viz., to the Jewish priests, to the scribes, 
and then to the Pharisees — and the duality of his nature. 
A very nice interpretation of them is that they are in- 
tended to remind us, now that consecration is about to 
take place, that the Blessed Victim who is going to be 
present on our altars suffered in his five senses during 
his bitter Passion — in his seeing, when the Jews veiled 
his face; in his hearing, when they laughed him to 
scorn ; in his taste, when they gave him vinegar and gall 
to drink ; in his smelling, when they conveyed him to 
Calvary, a hill used as a receptacle for dead bodies, 
whence its name when interpreted from the Hebrew, " a 
place of skulls"; and, finally, he suffered in his touch, 
when his hands and feet were nailed to the cross and his 
side pierced with a lance (Enchiridion de Sacr. Sacrif 
Miss. Ben. XIV., p. 71). 




Haying concluded the last- mentioned prayer, the priest 
A ubs the thumb and index finger of each hand over the cor- 
poral, in order to free them from any dust or defilement that 
may have adhered to them up to this time, and all this out 
of respect for the Sacred Host which he is going to handle 
at the moment of Consecration. 

Taking up the Host, he says : " Who the day before he 
suffered took bread into his holy and venerable hands, and 
with eyes uplifted to heaven to thee, God ! his Father 
Almighty, giving thanks to thee, he blessed, broke, and 
gave to his disciples, saving : ' Take and eat ye all of this : 
for this is my Body.'" The consecration of the bread is 
now effected, and, to adore our Lord present on the altar, 
the priest makes a profound genuflection the moment he 
has pronounced the sacred words. After this he raises the 
Host on high for the adoration of the people, and, having 
then placed it on the corporal before him, goes on to the 
consecration of the chalice. He first takes off the pall which 
had been covering the mouth of the chalice since the Of- 
fertory, and rests it against the altar-card in front of him. 
Then, taking the chalice, he continues thus : "In like man- 
ner after he had supped, taking this goodly chalice into 
his holy and venerable hands, also giving thanks to thee, 





The Consecration. 325 

he blessed and gave to his disciples, saying : ' Take a^d 
drink ye all of this, for this is the chalice of my 
Blood of the New and Eternal Testament ; the mys- 

many unto the remission of sins.' " This is the form by 
which the consecration of the chalice is effected, after which 
the priest kneels down in adoration as before, and recites 
while he is doing so the words, "As often as you do these 
things you shall do them in remembrance of me." He then 
elevates the chalice as he did the Host, and after the last 
genuflection covers it again with the pall. 

With the exception of a few words, both forms of conse- 
cration are taken from Holy Scripture. What is added over 
and above we shall now point out and explain according to 
the most approved authorities. We preface our remarks by 
Teminding the reader that the essential form of the conse- 
cration of the bread is, This is my Body, and of the wine, 
This is the Chalice of my Blood, or, simply, This is my 
Blood. The rest, however, must be said under pain of 
mortal sin. 

" Who the day before he suffered.' 9 

These words are not Scripture, but were added very early by 
some of the popes. Walfridus and Micrologus ascribe them 
to Pope Alexander, who ruled the Church from a.d. 121 to 
132 ; but Cardinal Bona and others are in favor of attribut- 
ing them to some one of the apostles. They are to be found 
in the Liturgies of SS. James and Clement. 

" The day before he suffered. 19 

This was what we now call Maundy Thursday, which, ac- 
cording to the best authorities, fell at the period of our 
Lord's Passion on the 22d of March ' (Romsee, ?v. p. 207). 

1 The Jews always celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of Nisan, the first 
month of their ecclesiastical year. To avoid agreeing with them in our celebration of 

326 The Celebration of Mass. 

" Took bread into his holy and venerable hands." 
The words "took bread" are given by the Evangelists, but 
the remaining ones are not. They are, however, of very 
high antiquity, and are found also in the liturgies of the 

i( With eyes uplifted to heaven to thee, God! his Father 

These words are not found in Scripture, but it has been a 
constant tradition that whenever our Lord was about to per- 
form any solemn act he always looked up to heaven. St. 
Matthew (xiv. 19) records that he did so when he performed 
the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves ; and St. 
John records the same of him at the resuscitation of Laza- 
rus (xi. 41). The particle enim, "for," in both forms of 
consecration, is also a subsequent insertion. St. Thomas 
Aquinas says {Quo3st. 78, 3) that it was added by St. Peter. 
In the language which our Lord spoke at the Last Sup- 
per and during his life upon earth — viz., the Syriac — the 
consecration of both species was effected by uttering two 

Easter, it was decided at the Council of Nicsea, in a.d. 325, that the latter should be 
celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon that set in after the 21st of March; 
according to which, Easter cannot be earlier than the 22d of this month nor later 
than the 25th of April. By the Gregorian style (so-called from Pope Gregory XIII.), 
the mode of reckoning Easter is not the astronomical, but rather the absolute mode, 
fn order that the celebration may take place on the same day throughout the entire 
Church, which, owing to the difference of time between countries far apart, could not 
happen if the astronomical mode were followed. Still, for all, the Gregorian mode is 
not wholly free from faults. A somewhat defective cycle in regard to the months was 
selected on account of its great simplicity, which clashes very considerably with the 
astronomical computation, for by the latter mode the Easter full moon may rise two 
hours after the time calculated by the calendar. Thus, it may be at one o'clock on 
Sunday morning, whilst announced to take place at eleven o'clock on Saturday night 
by the calendar ; in which case Easter would be celebrated on that same Sunday, when 
it ought not to be until the Sunday following. The Gregorian Calendar, too, in some 
very rare cases, makes our Easter and the Jewish Passover agree ; as, for example, 
happened in the year 1825. It is impossible, in fact, to avoid an occurrence of thi> 
kind now without upsetting the whole new style of reckoning. 

The Consecration. 32? 

words each time ; the form of the consecration of the bread 
being w*.v^oJ<r — honau pagri, and of the wine, *-io? cJoi — - 
honau demi. Whereupon it is worth remembering that the 
verb " is " does not stand separate by itself, but is incorpo- 
rated, in each case, with the demonstrative pronoun "this," 
thus leaving no room for doubt as to what our Divine Lord 
meant when he pronounced the sacred formula. 

" Benedixit" — he blessed. 

Touching the word "benedixit" employed upon this occa- 
sion, and in virtue of which both bread and wine are blessed 
by the priest, some curious opinions have been advanced. 
Ambrosius Catharinus,' the great Dominican theologian 
who proposed so many intricate questions at the Council of 
Trent, held that the moment our Lord pronounced the 
blessing over each element at the Last Supper consecration 
took place, and that the words, " This is my Body," etc., 
were merely added to point out the change which had been 
effected. Catharinus, it seems, preferred to take this view 
of the matter, in order not to make it appear that consecra- 
tion did not take place until the disciples had the bread 
and wine in their own hands, which would certainly involve 
an incongruity. St. Augustine, who evidently foresaw the 
same difficulty, advanced the opinion that the order of the 
words may have been different from that given by the Evan- 
gelists, and that probably they were as follows: "He 
blessed, saying, * This is my Body '; then he broke and gave 
to his disciples." According to this, consecration took place 
the moment "This is my Body" was pronounced. St. 
Thomas Aquinas, the great Doctor of the Blessed Eucharist, 

1 Catharinus was Archbishop of Compsa, in Italy, in the year 1552. He made 
himself famous at the Council of Trent for the very intricate theological questions 
he proposed to the Fathers. His opinions regarding the intention of the minlfltef 
who conferred baptism are well known. 

328 The Celebration of Mass. 

follows the same line of thought as St. Augustine, and 
gives the order of words as follows : " Taking bread into 
his hands, he blessed it, saying, 'This is my Body'"; so 
that, according to the Angelic Doctor, the blessing uttered 
on this occasion was also the formula of consecration. 
There is yet another view. According to Fromondus and 
others, it cannot be presumed that in a matter of such grave 
moment the Evangelists would omit the slightest particular, 
and that inasmuch as all of them agree in narrating the 
order of the words on this occasion, it is not lawful to 
change this order from the way in which the Gospels give 
it ; and that, therefore, we must read as follows : " He 
blessed" by invoking the name of his Father upon the 
bread in order that it should become his Body ; " he broke " 
into as many parts as there were persons to communicate ; 
and, thirdly, "he gave to his disciples" — that is, mto their 
hands — saying, " Take ye and eat ; this is my Body." 
Whether the order of words was different or not, at the Last 
Supper, from that given by the Evangelists makes but 
little matter to us, since it is the teaching of the Church 
that the essential form of consecration is, "This is my 
Body," and of the chalice, "This is my Blood" or "This 
is the chalice of my Blood," which amounts to the same 
thing (see Romsee, iv. p. 209). As far as relates to the other 
question sometimes asked — viz., whether our Lord made 
the sign of the cross or not when he blessed, as we do — it is 
hardly necessary to delay, for whether he did or not 
matters little. Most probably he did not make this sign 
upon that occasion, for as yet the cross had not ob- 
tained its efficacy. 

" Fregit "—He broke. 
It is generally held that our Lord on this occasion made 
thirteen divisions of the Holy Eucharist, and that he 

The Consecration. 329 

himself communicated, and permitted the traitor Judas to 
communicate with the rest. The Fathers of the Eastern 
Church, as well as those of the Western, have always held 
this. It is also surmised that our Lord must have broken 
the Sacred Host at this time with peculiar and impressive 
ceremonies ; for it is narrated of the disciples who supped 
with him at Emmaus that their eyes were opened, and that 
they knew him m the breaking of bread. 

The Ambrosians, or Milanese, immediately before the 
" qui pridie " — that is, a moment or two before they pro- 
nounce the sacred words of institution — go to the E]3istle 
side of the altar and wash their hands, out of respect for 
the Host which they are soon going to handle. This is 
the only rite in the Church where such a custom pre- 

A very important question that calls for consideration 
here is, whether the words of consecration are pronounced 
by the priest at this moment narratively, historically, or 
significatively. According to Pope Benedict XIV., they are 
pronounced in the last- mentioned way, that is, significative-' 
ly— significative ; and that hence the priest who pronoun- 
ces them does so as effectively in what relates to conse^ 
oration as if they were pronounced by our Lord himself 
(Enchiridion de Sacrif. Miss., p. 71). St. Thomas agrees 
with this, but adds that they are also pronounced recitative- 
ly — recitative (ibid.) 

We should have said before, perhaps, that immediately 
after the priest has placed the Sacred Host on the corporal 
after the elevation, he joins the thumb and index finger 
of both hands, and never separates them from that time 
until Communion is over, unless when touching the Sacred 
Host. This is done out of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, 
as well as to avoid the danger of losing any minute particles 
that may have adhered to these fingers. 

330 The Celebration of Mass. 


As much of what we have said of the consecration of the 
bread applies to that of the chalice also, it will be only ne- 
cessary to dwell upon what refers to the chalice directly in 
the following remarks : 

" This is the Chalice of my Blood." 

By a figure of speech called metonymy the container is here 
put for the thing contained, so that, according to St. 
Thomas (Qucest. 78, iii. art. 3), the real form would be : 
" This is my Blood contained in the chalice. " 

"JEterni Testamenti " — Eternal testament. 

These words are not in the Holy Scripture, but it is the uni- 
versally received opinion that they were added by some of 
the apostles, and this to point out directly that the sacred 
priesthood of our Divine Lord would continue for ever, in 
accordance with the prophecy expressed in the One hundred 
and ninth Psalm, " Thou art a priest for ever according to 
the order of Melchisedech." There is also allusion here, 
by way of opposition, to the " Old Testament " which was 
ratified by the blood of bulls and goats only, not by the 
Blood of Christ. 

" The mystery of faith" 

The Holy Eucharist is called the " mystery of faith " from 
the fact that its real greatness is hidden from the senses, 
and nothing is left to enable us to form a judgment of the 
extraordinary change which has been wrought any more 
than if no such change had ever taken place. All is left to 
pure faith ; and, therefore, well may it be called a mystery. 
How beautifully this is expressed in the Lauda Sion of St. 
Thomas Aquinas : 

Consecration of the Chalice. 331 

" Quod non capis, 
Quod non vides, 
Animosa firmat fides, 
Praeter rerum ordinem." 

* Which for you and for many shall be shed." 

According to the best authorities, and Pope Benedict XIV. 
among others {Enchirid., p. 72), the word "many" is here 
to be taken as meaning all, a mode of expression by no 
means uncommon in the Holy Scripture. St. Thomas 
Aquinas also interprets it in this way. If taken in any other 
sense it would hardly be possible to keep free of the Calvin- 
is tic error that our Lord died only for a certain class of 

At each elevation the little bell is rung to remind the 
people that our Lord is now present on the altar ; and the 
end of the priest's chasuble is lifted up by the server, who 
kneels for this purpose (just as consecration is about to take 
place) on the highest step. This ceremony of lifting the 
end of the chasuble is not observed now through any neces- 
sity whatever — for, if so, there would be as strong a reason for 
doing it at every other part of the Mass at which the priest 
genuflected — but is kept up merely as a vestige of that an- 
cient custom of having the deacon and subdeacon hold up 
the priest's robes at this place when the ample and long- 
flowing form of chasuble was in use. This was required 
to be done then in order that the priest might not be im- 
peded in any way at the solemn moment of consecration, 
when the slightest accident might cause an incalculable 
amount of distress* In some places the practice of lift- 
ing the chasuble here is going, or has already gone, 
into desuetude ; but this should not be tolerated for a 
moment, for it is a flagrant act of supreme disobedience 
*hich no authority in the Church, short of the Pope himself, 

332 The Celebration of Mass. 

could sanction. We do not know an instance in which the 
Rubrics are departed from without a sacrifice of real beau- 
ty, for which reason alone, to pass over many others, the 
slightest innovation in this respect should be looked up- 
on as a species of sacrilege, and should in no case be al- 


We have stated that immediately after the consecration 
the blessed Body of our Lord is elevated on high for the 
adoration of the people. Before the eleventh century the 
elevation did not take place at this part of the Mass, but 
only at the "Omnis honor et gloria," a little before the 
" Pater noster," which we now call the minor elevation. 
The present discipline was introduced as a solemn protest 
against Berengarius, who had the audacity to deny Tran- 
substantiation. It first began in France, for Berengarius 
was a native of that country, and archdeacon of Angers ; 
from France it was introduced into Germany, and from 
Germany it found its way into the other countries of Eu- 
rope, until at last it came to be an established law of 
the Church, binding everywhere. It must not, however, be 
supposed that when the new discipline of elevating the 
Sacred Species here was first introduced both the Host and 
chalice were elevated. Not so ; for quite a long time there 
was no elevation at all here of the chalice, but only of the 
Host — a custom which we yet see in vogue with the Carthu- 
sians.* The elevation of one species was considered enough, 
inasmuch as our Lord was as complete under one kind 
as und^r both by what is termed concomitance; but 
that the elevation of the chalice soon followed that of the 

* It muat not be supposed that the Carthusians have no elevation of the chalice at 
all. They have, and that, too, at the regular place, hut it is no higher than what vre 
observe at the minor elevation, 

Consecration in the Eastern Church, 333 

Host there is every reason to believe, for Durandus, Bishop 
of Mende, whose death is placed at 1296, makes mention of 
it in his Rationale Divinorum (p. 265, No. 52). Then, 
again, as to the manner of elevating, local customs varied. 
Some covered the chalice with the pall, as we see the Moza- 
rabics still do. 

The question is sometimes asked, Has it been customary 
from the beginning to have an elevation of some kind ? All 
are agreed that it has, but Cardinal Bona says that it is im- 
possible to tell, from the data given, whether the Sacred 
Species were raised any higher than they are now at what we 
call the minor elevation. As a precedent for our custom of 
elevating the Sacred Species may be mentioned the practice 
which obtained in the old law of lifting the victims on 
high at the regular sacrifices (Exod. xxix. ; Levit. vii. and 


We have mentioned in our Preface that where validity of 
orders prevails the power of consecration exists indepen- 
dently of either schism or heresy ; and that, consequently, 
in all the churches of the East a true sacrifice of the Mass 
may be looked for, and as veritable a Real Presence as that 
which we have the happiness to enjoy. 

Strangely enough, nearly all the Oriental liturgies men- 
tion the mingling of water with the wine in the form of con- 
secration. "Thou didst take," says the Liturgy of St. Gre- 
gory of the Alexandrine family, "the chalice and mingle it 
of the fruit of the vine and water " ; "In like manner, 
also," says the Syro- Jacobite Liturgy of St. Marutas, "he 
took wine, and when he had mingled it in just proportion 
with water," etc., and so on with several others. 

It is customary all through the East for the priest to 
pronounce the words of consecration aloud, and for the 

334 The Celebration of Mass. 

people to answer " Amen " after each assertion of the narra- 
tive portion. Thus, according to the Liturgy of St. Basil, 
the arrangement is as follows : "Priest: He blessed it j Peo- 
ple : Amen. Priest : And sanctified it ; People : Amen. 
Priest : And tasted it, and gave to his disciples." Where- 
upon it is also worthy of remark that nearly all the Eastern 
liturgies mention our Lord's communicating upon this occa- 
sion as well as his disciples. 

In an Ethiopic Liturgy, called the Athanasian, the sacred 
words of consecration are thus given: "This bread is my 
Body, from which there is no separating " ; and of the 
chalice : " This cup is my Blood, from which there is no 
dividing. As often as ye eat this Bread and drink this 
Chalice, set forth my death and my resurrection, and con- 
fess my ascension to heaven and my coming again with 
glory whilst ye await." The Armenian form thus reads: 
" Taking bread into his holy, divine, spotless, and venerable 
hands, he blessed, and gave to his holy, elect, and fellow- 
disciples, saying, ' This is my Body, which for you and for 
many is given for remission and pardon of sins. ' " The 
consecration of the chalice is worded in nearly the same 
way. According to the Liturgy of St. Basil, the narration 
thus goes on : " In the night when he gave himself up for 
the life of the world, taking bread into his holy and spotless 
hands, having shown it to thee, his God and Father, having 
given thanks, blessed, hallowed, and broken it, he gave it to 
his disciples and apostles, saying, ' Take, eat ; this is my 
Body, which is broken for you unto the remission of sins.'" 
And of the chalice : " Likewise taking the chalice of the 
fruit of the vine, having mingled, given thanks, blessed, 
and hallowed it, he gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, 
saying, i Drink ye all of it, for this is my Blood of the New 
Testament, which is shed for you and for many for the re- 
mission of sins," In the Coptic Liturgy of St. Cyril the 

Consecration in the Eastern Church. 335 

form is worded as follows : "He took bread into his holy, 
immaculate, pure, blessed, and quickening hands, and 
looked up to heaven, to thee his God and Father, and Lord 
of all, and gave thanks, and blessed, and sanctified it, and 
broke it, and gave to his holy disciples and pure apostles, 
saying, ' Take, eat ye all of this ; for this is my Body, 
which shall be broken for you, and for many shall be given 
for the remission of sins.'" The form according to the 
Liturgy of St. James is almost word for word like this ; 
and as that of the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom differs hardly 
in anything from our own, we do not deem it necessary to 
give it. 

The Elevation in the Eastern Church. — Nowhere in the 
Bast does the elevation take place immediately after conse- 
cration, as with ourselves, but only before the Communion. 
As the solemn moment draws near, the deacon turns round 
to the people and cries with full compass of voice, " At- 
tendants !" — "Let us be attentive." In some places this 
admonition is worded : " Let us attend with the fear of 
God." The Ethiopians say, " Inspiciamus ! " After the 
admonition follows the elevation, which all the churches of 
the East observe just as we do, with this difference : that 
while perfect silence pervades our congregations at this 
solemn moment, in theirs the noise is deafening, for both 
priest and people are shouting at the highest pitch of their 

When the Sacred Host is first raised on high, the priest 
cries aloud, " " Ayia ayioiS," Hagia hagiois — that is, 
"Holy things for holy people" — to which the people, or 
rather the choir, respond, " One Holy, one Lord, Jesus 
Christ to the glory of God the Father." According to the 
Syriac Liturgy of St. James, which all the Jacobites follow, 
the priest exclaims, " Holy things are given for holy per- 
sons in perfection, purity, and holiness " ; to which the peo- 

336 TJie Celebration of Mass. 

pie respond, " One Holy Father, one Holy Son, one Holy 
Ghost ; blessed be the name of the Lord, for he is one in 
heaven and on earth ; glory be to him for evermore." At 
the elevation which takes place with the Maronites the 
priest, raising the sacred Host aloft, cries out, "Holy 
things are given for holy people in perfection, purity, and 
sanctity " ; to which the people respond, " One Holy Father, 
one Holy Son, one Holy Ghost ; glory be to the Father, to 
the Son, and to the Holy Ghost." When elevating the 
chalice the priest says, according to the same rite, "Thus, 
Lord ! in truth we verily believe in thee just as believes 
in thee the Holy Catholic Church, that thou art one Holy 
Father, to whom belongeth glory, Amen ; one Holy Son, to 
whom belongeth glory, Amen ; one Holy Spirit, to whom 
belongeth glory and thanksgiving for ever, Amen." The 
elevation with the Maronites takes place at the same time 
as it does all over the East — viz., before Communion. 
In some of the Oriental churches it is customary for the 
priest to turn round to the people and bless them three 
times before the elevation takes place, and after the eleva- 
tion to move around, with the sacred Host in his hands, at 
the centre of the altar, just as we do when giving bene- 
diction of the Blessed Sacrament. This especially obtains 
throughout Syria (Kenaudot, Liturg. Orient., ii. p. 114). 

The words, " One Holy Father, one Holy Son, one Holy 
Ghost," common to all the Oriental liturgies with hardly 
an exception, is employed as a profession of faith in the 
Adorable Trinity. The Copts at this place make a profes- 
sion of faith in the Eeal Presence, which, on account of its 
singular beauty, we give word for word. It is as follows : 
" I believe, I believe, I believe, and confess to the last breath 
of my life, that this is the real, life-giving flesh of thy Only- 
Begotten Son, our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ; 
he received it from the blessed Lady of us all, the Mother of 

Consecration in the Eastern Church. 33? 

God, and ever Virgin Mary." It is customary, too, in the 
East, as with many of our own congregations, to strike the 
breast with the hand as the Host is elevated. In one of the 
Coptic versions of the Liturgy of St. Basil a rubric on this 
head thus reads : " Then [that is, at the elevation] the 
priest will take the Isbodicon [i.e., the Holy Body] in his 
hands, and will raise it aloft as far as he can stretch his 
arms, with head inclined, and will shout with full compass 
of voice, ( Holy things for holy people ! ' All the people will 
incline their heads, adoring their Lord in fear and trem- 
bling, and asking with tears, with earnestness, and with the 
striking of their breasts the remission of their sins, and 
their confirmation in the orthodox faith unto the last breath 
of life" (Renaudot, i. p. 245). On Sundays the rubric 
calls for only a simple genuflection, but on week-days the 
Copts are required to bow their heads down to the ground 
at this place. The crying out at the elevation, which varies 
slightly with the different churches, is intended by the Ori- 
entals to commemorate the cry of the penitent thief when 
our Lord was raised on the cross beside him. In many 
places they exclaim : u God, be merciful to me a sinner ! " 
Sometimes the very words of the holy thief are used, viz. : 
"Lord, remember me when thou readiest thy kingdom" 
(ibid. i. p. 246). That the ringing of bells, also, is ob- 
served in the East when consecration takes place we learn 
from various writers. Neale makes special mention of this 
practice as prevailing among the Ethiopians and Syrians 
(Hist, of the Holy Eastern Church, i. p. 517). 

The Orientals say but little about the elevation of the 
chalice, for the reason that they look upon itself and the 
Host as one and the same thing ; but that the elevation of 
it is observed by them their liturgies clearly show. In that 
of St. Xystus, for example, the chalice is elevated with these 
Words: "0 Lord ! we belie ve, and believe in truth, just as 

338 The Celebration of Mass. 

thy Holy Catholic Church believes in thee, that there is one 
Holy Father ; one Holy Son ; one Holy Ghost ; glory to the 
Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, who are one 
for ever and ever." This agrees almost wholly with what is 
Baid at the elevation of the chalice in the Maronite Church. 

We have said that the words of consecration are pro- 
nounced aloud in the East. It must not, however, be sup- 
posed that the rest of the Mass is pronounced in this man- 
ner. Not so ; for the Orientals say a great number of 
prayers in secret, as we ourselves do, and only break silence 
at those places where the people are accustomed to join in 
and respond. Nothing is more common in the liturgies of 
the East than the admonition, " Let all in fear and silence 
stand and pray." 


This is the first prayer the priest recites after the eleva- 
tion has taken place, and he does so with hands extended as 
when reciting the collects, only that, as we have already 
stated, the thumb and index finger of each hand are joined 
together. The Carthusians, Carmelites, and Dominicans 
recite it with outstretched arms in the form of a cross — a 
custom which was also in vogue under the Sarum Rite. At 
the words " a pure Host, a holy Host, an immaculate Host ; 
the holy Bread of life eternal, and the Chalice of perpetual 
salvation," the sign of the cross is made five different times 
— three times over the Host and chalice conjointly, and once 
over each of them singly. Many curious questions are asked 
about the meaning of these crosses at this place. That they 
are not intended as blessings all are agreed, because neither 
Host nor chalice needs a blessing now ; but as to their pre- 
cise import opinions vary very much. According to the 
majority of liturgists, they must be accounted for wholly In 
a mystic manner, as commemorative of the Passion of our 

"Unde et Memores." 339 

Lord, the five recalling to mind, as St. Thomas Aquinas 
says, and others repeat after him, the Five Wounds. Fathei 
Le Brim, in that truly excellent work of his entitled Expli- 
cation des Prieres et des Ceremonies de la Messe, torn. ii. 
p. 232, gives as beautiful an explanation of these crosses as 
any that we have seen. His words are : " When we make five 
signs of the cross at this prayer, the first, in saying ' Hos- 
tiam puram,' points out that there lies the pure Victim 
which was nailed to the cross ; the second, in saying ' Hos- 
tiam sanctam,' indicates that there lies the Victim which was 
offered up on the cross ; the third, in saying ' Hostiam im- 
maculatam/ indicates that this is the Victim without blem- 
ish which was immolated on the cross ; the fourth, at 
' Panem sanctum,' shows that we have before us the holy 
Bread of Life — that is to say, Him who said, ' I am the true 
Bread of Life, who descended from Heaven and died upon 
the cross to give you life ' ; and the fifth, at ' Calicem salu- 
tis,' is intended to show that the Blood which is contained 
in the chalice is the very same that was shed upon the cross 
for the redemption of the world." In one word, then, 
crosses made before consecration are always symbolic of 
blessing or are such in reality ; after consecration they 
signify that the blessed Victim who suffered on the cross 
is now lying before us on the altar. 

Crosses made after Consecration in the Oriental Church. — 
From the fact that many, even within the Church, have 
looked upon these crosses as an idle and useless observance 
it is a great relief to us to find that they are also employed 
by the Orientals. A rubric on this head in the Liturgy of 
St. Basil reads as follows : " Then the deacon, bowing his 
head, points to the holy bread with his stole and says se- 
cretly, 'Sir, bless the holy bread/ and the priest, stand- 
ing up, signs the holy gifts, saying secretly, ' This bread is 
the Precious Body itself of our Lord and God and Sa- 

340 The Celebration of Mass, 

viour Jesus Christ.'" Deacon: "Sir, bless the chalice/' 
Priest: "This chalice is the Precious Blood itself of our 
Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ." After this both 
Host and chalice are blessed conjointly, as with ourselves ; 
so that, in fact, our interpretation of these crosses entirely 
agrees with that of the Orientals. We do not deem it ne- 
cessary to lengthen our pages by giving any more examples 
of this practice ; let it suffice to say that it may be seen in 
all the Eastern liturgies. 


The only thing that deserves special notice in this prayer 
is the allusion made to the sacrifices of Abel, Abraham, and 
Melchisedech ; and these are mentioned because they refer 
more directly than any of the other sacrifices of the old law 
to the sacrifice we offer in the Mass. For, in the first place, 
the blood of Abel, the just man, wantonly shed by his bro- I 
ther Cam, very forcibly recalls to mind the iniquity of the 
Jews in shedding the blood of our innocent Saviour, who, 
according to the flesh, was a kinsman of their own. Then, 
again, as Abel offered to God the firstlings of his flock 
(Genesis iv. 4), he aptly prefigures our Lord, who, as St. 
Paul says, "was the first-bom among many brethren" (Rom. 
viii. 29). The holy Patriarch Abraham leading up his only 
son, Isaac, to immolate him on the mount, specially prefig- 
ures the Eternal Father immolating his Only-Begotten Son, 
3ur Lord and God, for our sake ; and Isaac carrying the 
wood upon which he was to be sacrificed represents our Sa- 
viour carrying his cross to Calvary. 

The allusion to the sacrifice of Melchisedech is full of im- 
port. He is mentioned in Scripture as a priest of the Most 
High, without father or mother, without genealogy of any 
kind, and without beginning or end of days. Herein he is 
a most striking figure of our Lord, of whom the Scripture 

" 8upplic$8 te Jlogamus," 3^j 

lays: "Who shall declare his generation?" But there is 
yet a still closer resemblance between Melchisedech and our 
Lord. The former was king and priest at the same time. 
Our Lord is king and priest also. The king of Salem 
offered bread and wine in virtue of his being a priest of the 
Most High ; our Lord offers himself in the Holy Mass un- 
ler the same species, and is styled by the royal Psalmist 
"a pried for ever according to the order of Melchisedech" 
(Ps. cix.) The last words of the prayer— viz., "Sanctum 
sacrificium, immaculatam Hostiam "— were added by Pope 
Leo the Great (fifth century). They refer, as is evident, 
not to the sacrifices of the old law here mentioned, but to 
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where our Lord, the Im- 
maculate Lamb, is the victim. 


Whilst reciting the first part of this prayer the priest is 
bowed profoundly, with his hands resting upon the altar, 
and when he comes to the words, "ex hac altaris participa- 
tione," he kisses the altar, and, having become erect, makes 
the sign of the cross upon himself at the same time that he 
pronounces the words, "omni benedictione ccelesti et gratia 
repleamur." In English this entire prayer is rendered as 
follows : "We humbly beseech thee, Almighty God ! that 
thou wouldst command these gifts to be carried by the 
hands of thy holy angel to thy altar on high, before the 
sight of thy Divine Majesty, that all of us who by this par- 
ticipation shall receive the most holy Body and Blood of 
thy Son may be enriched with every heavenly blessing and 
grace, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen." As to 
who the holy angel mentioned here is, a diversity of opinion 
exists. Some say that it is the angel deputed by God to 
watch over the Sacrifice after the maimer in which blessed 
spirits of this name were appointed to watch over the sacn- 

342 The Celebration of Mass. 

fices of the old law, as we read in various parts of Scripture 
(see Genesis xxii. 11; Judges vi. and xiii. ; and St, Luke i.) ; 
but, according to the vast majority of commentators, the holy 
angel referred to is none other than our Lord himself, who 
is styled " the Angel of the Great Council " in Holy Writ 
(Romsee, iv. p. 231). The Carmelites and Dominicans, while 
reciting the first part of this prayer, bow down and cross 
their arms one over the other (brachiis cancellatis) before 
their breast. 

When an explanation was demanded of the Greeks at the 
Council of Florence, in 1439, of their prayer which asks 
God to make the bread the Precious Body and the chalice 
the Precious Blood of Christ, and all this after they had 
become such already by consecration, they objected the 
wording of the prayer now under consideration — viz., the 
"Supplices te rogamus" — contending that theirs could be 
as easily defended as this. As they fully acquiesced, how- 
ever, in the teaching that the sacred words of institution— 
viz., " tovro yap iari to aob;j.a /tov," touto gar esti to 
soma mou — are alone the efficient cause of transubstantia- 
tion, the Fathers of the Latin Church did not deem it neces- 
sary to push the motion before the council any further, and 
so they allowed the prayer alluded to to stand where it was 
in all the Greek liturgies, instead of changing it to some 
earlier part of the Canon. 


Another strange custom which prevails with the Greeks 
is the mining of warm water with the chalice after consecra- 
tion. They mingle a few drops of ordinary water with the 
wine at the beginning of Mass, as we do. and for the sam< 
literal and mystical reasons ; but the adding of warm watei 
besides, and that, too, after consecration has taken place, it 

Memento for the Dead. 343 

to say the least of it, very strange — we were about to say 
very offensive. There was a spirited discussion about tins 
ceremony at the Council of Florence, for the Latin Fathers 
severely reprehended it, and were at first fully determined 
to compel the Greeks to abolish it before the decree for the 
reunion of the churches would be made out and ratified. 
Dorotheus, Bishop of Mitylene, however, made so eloquent 
and satisfactory a defence of the practice that he gained all 
the Fathers to his side ; and as the Pope himself expressed 
his admiration of the defence, the custom was approved of, 
and so it is still kept up by the Greeks. 

The words employed in adding this warm water suggest 
its mystic meaning. They are: "The fervor of faith, full 
of the Holy Ghost. Amen." This is repeated thrice, and 
the water is poured in in the form of a cross. Speaking of 
this ceremony, St. Germanus writes as follows : " As blood 
and warm water flowed together from the side of Christy 
thus hot water poured into the chalice at the time of conse- 
cration gives a full type of the mystery to those who draw 
that holy liquid from the chalice as from the life-giving 
side of our Lord " ( Translation of the Primitive Liturgies, 
p. 120, by Neale and Littledale ; Goar, Euchol. Grcec, p. 
148). As the latter-named author gives a full history of 
this rite, he may be consulted with advantage. 


As he begins to recite this prayer the priest moves his 
hands slowly before his face, so as to have them united at 
the words, "in somno pacis." This gentle motion of the 
hands is aptly suggestive here of the slow, lingering motion 
of a soul preparing to leave the body, and the final union of 
the hands forcibly recalls to mind the laying down of the 
body in its quiet slumber in the earth. As this prayer is 
very beautiful, we transcribe it in full. It is thus worded r 

344 The Celebration of Mass. 

" Remember also, Lord ! thy servants, male and female, 
who have gone before us with the sign of faith and sleep 
in the sleep of peace, N. N. ; to them, Lord ! and to all 
who rest in Christ, we beseech thee to grant a place of re- 
freshment, light, and peace ; through the same Christ our 
Lord. Amen." At the letters "N. N." the names of the 
particular persons to be prayed for among the departed were 
read out from the diptychs in ancient times. When the 
priest comes to them now he does not stop, but pauses 
awhile at "iu somno pacis" to make his private memento of 
those whom he wishes to pray for in particular, in which he 
is to be guided by the same rules that directed him in making 
ills memento for the living, only that here he cannot pray for 
the conversion of any one, as he could there, for this solely 
relates to the dead who are detained in Purgatory. Should 
the Holy Sacrifice be offered for any soul among the de- 
parted which could not be benefited by it, either because of 
the loss of its eternal salvation or its attainment of the ever- 
lasting joys of heaven, theologians commonly teach that in 
that case the fruit of the Mass would enter the treasury 
of the Church, and be applied afterwards in such indulgen- 
ces and the like as Almighty God might suggest to the dis- 
pensers of his gifts (Suarez, Disp. xxxviii. sec. 8). 

We beg to direct particular attention here to the expres- 
sion " sleep of peace." That harsh word death which we 
now use was seldom or never heard among the early Chris- 
tians when talking of their departed brethren. Death to 
them was nothing else but a sleep until the great day of re- 
surrection, when all would rise up again at the sound of the 
angel's trumpet ; and this bright idea animated their minds 
and enlivened all their hopes when conversing with their 
absent friends in prayer. So, too, with the place of in- 
terment ; it was not called by that hard name that dis- 
tinguishes it too often now — viz., the grave yard — but was 

Memento for the Dead. 345 

called by the milder term of cemetery, which, from its 
Greek derivation, means a dormitory, or sleeping-place. Nor 
was the word bury employed to signify the consigning of the 
body to the earth. No, this sounded too profane in the ears 
of the primitive Christians ; they rather chose the word de- 
pose, as suggestive of the treasure that was put away until 
it pleased God to turn it to better use on the final reckoning 
day. The old Teutonic expression for cemetery was, to say 
the least of it, very beautiful. The blessed place was called 
in this tongue Gottes-acker — that is, God's field — for the 
reason that the dead were, so to speak, the seed sown in 
the ground from which would spring the harvest reaped 
on the day of general resurrection in the shape of glori- 
fied bodies. According to this beautiful notion, the stone 
which told who the departed person was that lay at rest 
beneath, was likened to the label that was hung up on a 
post by the farmer or gardener to tell the passer-by the name 
of the flower that was deposited beneath. This happy appli- 
cation of the word sleep to death runs also through Holy 
Scripture, where we frequently find such expressions as 
"He slept with his fathers"; "I have slept and I am re- 
freshed," applied from the third Psalm to our Divine Lord's 
time in the sepulchre; the "sleep of peace"; "he was 
gathered to his fathers," etc. (For a very interesting article 
on this subject see The Catholic World, November, 1872.) 

Memento of the Dead in the Oriental Church. — The 
prayers of the Orientals for the faithful departed are sin- 
gularly touching. In the Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil the 
memento is worded thus: "In like manner, Lord! re- 
member also all those who have already fallen asleep in the 
priesthood and amidst the laity ; vouchsafe to give rest to 
their souls in the bosoms of our holy fathers Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob ; bring them into a place of greenness by 
the waters of comfort, in the paradise of pleasure where 

346 The Celebration of Mass, 

grief and misery and sighing are banished, in the brightness 
of the saints." The Orientals are very much attached to 
ancient phraseology, and hence their frequent application 
of "the bosom of Abraham" to that middle state of purifi- 
cation in the next life which we universally designate by the 
name of Purgatory. In the Syro- Jacobite Liturgy of Johr 
Bar-Maadan part of the memento is worded thus : " Reckon 
them among the number of thine elect ; cover them with 
the bright cloud of thy saints ; set them with the lambs on 
thy right hand, and bring them into thy habitation." The 
following extract is taken from the Liturgy of St. Chrysos- 
tom, which, as we have said already, all the Catholic and 
schismatic Greeks of the East follow : " Eemember all those 
that are departed in the hope of the resurrection to eternal 
life, and give them rest where the light of thy countenance 
shines upon them." But of all the Orientals the place of 
honor in this respect must be yielded to the Nestorians ; for, 
heretics as they are, too much praise cannot be given them 
for the singular reverence they show toward their de- 
parted brethren. From a work of theirs called the Sin* 
hados, which Badger quotes in his Nestorians and their 
Rituals, we take the following extract: "The service of 
the third day of the dead is kept up, because Christ rose on 
the third day. On the ninth day, also, there should be a 
commemoration, and again on the thirtieth day, after the 
example of the Old Testament, since the people mourned for 
Moses that length of time. A year after, also, there should 
be a particular commemoration of the dead, and some of the 
property of the deceased should be given to the poor in re- 
membrance of him. We say this of believers ; for as to 
unbelievers, should all the wealth of the world be given to 
the poor in their behalf it would profit them nothing." 
The Armenians call Purgatory by the name Gay an — that is, 
a mansion. The Chaldeans style it Matthar, the exact 

"Nobis quoque Peccatoribus." 34? 

equivalent of our term. By some of the other Oriental 
churches it is called Kavaran, or place of penance ; and 
Makraran, a place of purification (Smith and D wight, i. 
p. 169). 

We could multiply examples at pleasure to prove that 
there is no church in the East to which the name of Chris- 
tian can be given that does not look upon praying for the 
faithful departed, and offering the Holy Mass for the repose 
of their souls, as a sacred and solemn obligation. Protes- 
tants who would fain believe otherwise, and who not unfre- 
quently record differently in their writings about the Ori- 
ental Christians, can verify our statements by referring to 
any Eastern liturgy and examining for themselves. We con- 
clude our remarks on this head by a strong argument in 
point from a very unbiassed Anglican minister — Eev. Dr. 
John Mason Neale. Speaking of prayers for the dead in his 
work entitled A History of the Holy Eastern Church (gene- 
eral introduction, vol. i. p. 509), this candid-speaking man 
uses the following language : "I am not now going to 
prove, what nothing but the blindest prejudice can deny, 
that the Church, east, west, and south, has with one con- 
sentient and universal voice, even from apostolic times, 
prayed in the Holy Eucharist for the departed faithful. " 
Would that we had more of such candid-speaking men in- 
stead of those modern sciolists who travel east and west 
and afterwards record their observations as if they had eyes 
and saw not ! 


At the initial words of this prayer the priest breaks 
silence for the first time since he began the Canon, but only 
while he is saying the words " to us also sinners," at which 
he strikes his breast as the poor publican in the Gospel did 
When he went up to the temple to pray. In many parts of 

348 The Celebration of Mass. 

Ireland it is customary for the person serving Mass to an- 
swer, " Parce nobis, Domine" — "Spare us, Lord!" — at 
this place ; but the origin of the custom we have never been 
able to trace, nor is it spoken of by any liturgist whom we 
have consulted. The precise reason for breaking silence here 
has never been satisfactorily explained. All that liturgical 
writers say of it is that it is intended to commemorate the 
humble cry for mercy of the penitent thief on the cross ; 
but from all we have seen about it in the ancient Eoman 
ordinals, and in other works of a like nature, we are in- 
clined to think that it was originally intended as a sort of 
signal for the minor ministers of the Mass to attend to some 
particular duty at that time. Eomsee intimates that it 
might have been used as an admonition for the people to 
enter into themselves and bewail their offences together with 
the priest. An ancient Roman ordo has the following words 
upon this matter, from which our opinion derives some 
strength: "When he shall say, ' Nobis quoque peccatoribus,' 
the subdeacons rise." The Carthusians do not raise their 
voice here at all, but simply strike the breast ; and this is 
also the custom at the cathedral church of Lyons. 

The force of the word quoque, "also," employed here, 
depends on the connection of this prayer with the preceding 
one, as if it were said, " We have prayed for a place of rest 
and peace for our departed brethren ; we also pray for a 
similar favor in behalf of ourselves, in order that we may 
become associated with thy holy apostles and martyrs," etc. 
As it is necessary for a priest to know exactly who the saints 
are that are mentioned in this prayer, and also in the 
" Communicantes," in order to be able to bow the head 
when Mass is celebrated on the recurrence of their festivals, 
or a commemoration is made of them in another Mass, we 
have deemed it proper to give a brief sketch of their lives. 

First, as to who the St. John is that occurs here. For 

St. John the Baptist. 349 

quite a long time it remained undecided whether this 
was St. John the Evangelist or St. John the Baptist, 
and many weighty opinions lay on both sides. Pope In- 
nocent III., speaking as an ordinary liturgical scholar, 
maintained that it was St. John the Evangelist. He 
was named first, according to this Pontiff, as an apostle in 
the prayer " Communicantes," and here, again, as a vir- 
gin disciple. Others held, too, that it was the Evangelist 
who was mentioned, not on account of his virginity, but 
simply because he was looked upon as having, in a manner, 
died twice : first, when plunged into the caldron of boiling 
oil by order of Domitian, from which, however, he was mir- 
aculously preserved ; and, secondly, when he died a natural 
death at Ephesus. This latter opinion never had many 
supporters, and, we think, deservedly. The principal objec- 
tion to naming St. John the Baptist here was that he was 
not, strictly speaking, a saint of the new law, having been 
put to death before the Passion of our Lord. The question 
remained thus unsettled for a long time, with opinions 
on both sides (by far the weightier, however, on the side of 
the Evangelist), until at last the decision of the Sacred 
Congregation of Rites was asked in the matter. When the 
question was first proposed — viz., in April, 1823 — it responded, 
" Dilata," that is, that the answer was held over for fur- 
ther consideration. In March, 1824, it replied that the 
saint mentioned, and at whose name a reverence should be 
made, was St. John the Baptist. After this decision had 
appeared all further discussion ceased. The question was 
settled. The Church has instituted two special feasts in 
honor of the Baptist : the one, that of his nativity, on June 
24 ; the other, of his decollation, or beheading, on August 
. 29. Part of the precursor's head is said to be kept in the 
Church of St. Sylvester at Rome, and another part at 
Amiens, in France. 

350 The Celebration of Mass, 

St. Stephen, December 26. — This saint is generally dis- 
tinguished by the title of proto martyr, from the fact that 
he was, strictly speaking, the first martyr of the new law 
who suffered publicly for the faith. His relics were con- 
veyed from Jerusalem to Rome some four hundred years 
after his death ; and when deposited beside those of the 
holy martyr St. Lawrence, a pious legend says that the 
latter moved to the left in order to yield the place of honor 
to the protomartyr, for which reason the Romans styled 
St. Lawrence II cortese Spagniolo — that is, the polite 
Spaniard — for he was of that nation. The Feast of St. 
Stephen used anciently to be called "straw day" in the 
South of France, from a custom that prevailed there of 
blessing straw on that day. Throughout England and Ire- 
land it was known as " wrennmg day," from the very 
singular custom of hunting and stoning a wren to death in 
commemoration of St. Stephen's martyrdom. Wren-boy day 
in the South of Ireland was a regular gala-day for the young 
folks ; it is still celebrated to some extent in many places. 

St. Matthias, February 24. — A vacancy having occurred 
among the twelve by the apostasy of Judas, Matthias was 
chosen by lot to fill it. The manner of his death is not 
exactly known, but it is generally believed that he ended 
his days by crucifixion. The reason for not naming this 
apostle with the others in the " Communicantes " is that 
he was not associated to the apostolic band until after the 
Passion of our Lord ; nor is he named in any of the Gospels. 
And if it be objected to this that St. Paul was neither an 
apostle nor even a Christian until after the Passion, and 
still he is mentioned in the " Communicantes " with the 
other apostles, we reply that this was done in order not to 
separate him from St. Peter ; for the Church sings of both 
of them : "In life they loved each other ; in death they are 
not separated." This is the reason given by all. 

The Holy Saints and Martyrs. 351 

St. Barnabas, June 11. — St. Barnabas was a native of 
Cyprus. His first name was Joses, which he himself 
changed to Barnabas, an Aramean name meaning " son of 
consolation." He was the friend and companion of St. Paul 
in the holy ministry. The Feast of St. Barnabas was, ac- 
cording to the old style, 4 the longest day in the year, and 
hence the familiar rhyme : 

" Barnaby bright, Barnaby gay, 
The shortest night and the longest day." 

St. Ignatius, February 1. — According to a pious tradi- 
tion, it was this saint whom our Lord took into his arms 
when he said to his apostles : " Whosoever shall receive 
one of such children in my name receive th me." He be- 
came Bishop of Antioch in the early part of the second 
century, and suffered a glorious martyrdom under Trajan 
in the year 107. He is said to have been the originator of 
responsive singing in the Church— a practice which he 
learned, it is said, from the angels, whom he frequently 
heard chanting after this manner. 

St. Alexander, May 3. — This saint succeeded Evaristus as 
Pope in the year 109, and is named as a martyr in the 
Sacramentary of St. Gregory the Great. 

St. Marcellinus, June 2. — St. Marcellinus was a priest 
of Rome, who, with St. Peter the Exorcist, suffered martyr- 
dom in the persecution of Diocletian, a.d. 304. 

St. Peter, June 2. — This saint, generally styled "Peter 
the Exorcist " — for he was not in full orders — suffered mar- 

« Russia is the only Christian country which yet retains the old style, or Julian 
Calendar. The principal error of this style consists in making the year 365# days, or 
about eleven minutes too much. The new style, or Gregorian Calendar (so called from 
Pope Gregory XIII.), began in 1582 In order to obtain the true date according to this 
style, we must deduct ten days for the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, eleven days 
for the eighteenth century, and twelve for the nineteenth. It is well to bear this in 
mind, as a neglect of it has often occasioned much perplexity. 

352 The Celebration of Mass. 

tyrdoni under the Emperor Diocletian, together with St. 
Marcellinus, in a.d. 304. 

St. Perpetua, March 7. — St. Perpetua suffered martyr- 
dom at Carthage, in Africa, in the year 202, at the age of 
twenty-two. The instrument of her torture was a wild cow 
let loose upon her, by which she was tossed about and 
frightfully mangled in the amphitheatre. Her name and 
that of her companion, St. Felicitas, were added to the 
Canon of the Mass by Pope Gregory the Great. 

St. Felicitas, March 7. — There is little to be said of this 
saint further than that she suffered martyrdom with St. 
Perpetua. She must not be confounded with the St. Fe- 
licitas who suffered under the Emperor Antoninus Pius. 

St. Agatha, February 5. — She is said to have been a Sici- 
lian by birth, and to have suffered martyrdom in the per- 
secution of Decius, about the year 251. 

St. Lucy, December 13. — St. Lucy was a native of Syra- 
cuse, in Sicily, and suffered martyrdom about the year 304. 
Her body is said to be preserved at Metz, where it is ex- 
posed for the veneration of the faithful on certain occasions 
of the year. In art she is generally represented with a 
palm-branch in one hand, and in the other a burning tamp 
expressive of her name, which comes, it is said, from the 
Latin luor, light. 

St. Agnes, January 21. — There are two saints of this 
name in the calendar, but the one named here is the saint 
generally meant when St. Agnes is spoken of. She is said 
to have suffered martyrdom about the year 305. Her 
church on the Via Nomenfana. at Rome, gives title to a car- 
dinal, and furnishes the lambs annually from whose wool 
the palliums of archbishops are made. In ancient art she is 
represented in her miraculous snow-white sfarment, with an 
executioner by her side armod with a halberd. Her feast 
was once a holyday of obligation in England* 

"Per quern hcec omnia" 353 

St Cecilia, November 22.— According to the best ac- 
counts, this saint suffered martyrdom in the year 230. 
From the great love she manifested for singing the divine 
praises she is generally looked up to as the patroness of 
music, and is always represented in art with a lyre in her 
hand. So eminent a saint was she held to be in the early 
Church that a special preface was composed for her feast 
and inserted in the Sacrammtary of Pope Gregory the 
Great. She is said to have always carried a copy of the 
Gospels with her— a pious custom very prevalent among the 
primitive Christians, and not entirely extinct yet. 

St Anastasia, December 25.— This saint is said to have 
met her death by being burnt at the stake by order of the 
prefect of Illyria in the year 304, during the persecution of 


At each of the words "sanctify," "vivify," and "bless," 
of this prayer, a cross is made over the Host and chalice 
together. The chalice is then uncovered, and the priest, 
taking the sacred Host between the thumb and index finger 
of the right hand, makes three crosses with it over the 
chalice as he says "through him," "with him," and "in 
him," and two between the chalice and himself in a direct 
line at the expression " to thee, God the Father Almighty, 
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory." 
As he says " all honor and glory " he raises the chalice and 
Host a few inches from the altar. This is called the minor 
elevation, and here the Canon ends. 

According to Pouget (Inst Cathol, torn. ii. p. 869), when 
the ancient discipline of elevating the Host and chalice 
together at this place prevailed, they were raised high 
enough to be seen by the people. He is about the only 


The Celebration of Mass. 

author who ventures to assert this, but there is very good 
reason to think him right. 

It was long customary in the early days to bless new 
fruits and products of various kinds at this part of the 
Mass, such as grapes, milk and honey, oil, win©, etc. This 
was done just before the " per quern haec omnia," and the 
commodities to be blessed were placed on the altar by the 




In" concluding the Canon the priest raises his voice and 
gays aloud, "Per omnia saecula saeculorum " ; then, "Ore- 
mus " ; and after this follows the " Pater noster," or Lord's 
Prayer, to which the following short preface is prefixed : 
"Being admonished by salutary precepts, and taught by 
divine institution, we presume to say, ' Our Father/ " etc. 
According to several authorities of note, the expression, 
"being admonished by salutary precepts," refers to the 
existence of the Discipline of the Secret, in virtue of which 
it was strictly forbidden to recite, among other things, the 
"Lord's Prayer" in the hearing of the catechumens; but 
inasmuch as none of this class could be present at this part 
of the Mass, there was no danger to be apprehended from 
reciting it aloud. At the Divine Office, however, it was 
never said but in secret, for catechumens as well as Chris- 
tians could be present then. This discipline stands yet. 
The rest of this short preface refers to what our Lord said 
to his disciples on the quantity and quality of prayer, for 
the "Pater noster" was formulated by himself as a model 
for their guidance (Enchiridion Sacrif. Missce Bened. XIV., 
p. 95 ; J. Pleyer, S.J., De Sacr. Miss. Sacrif., p. 7). 

In the Liturgy of St. James this little preface is thus 
worded : " Grant us, Lord, and lover of men ! with bold- 
ness, without condemnation with a pure heart, with a bro- 

356 The Celebration of Mass. 

ken spirit, with a face that needs not to be ashamed, with 
hallowed lips, to dare to call upon thee, our Holy God and 
Father in heaven, and say, 'Our Father,'" etc. All the 
Oriental liturgies have some preface of this kind here. 

Throughout the Western Church it is the priest himself 
who says the " Pater noster," but in the Eastern Church 
it is said by people and priest together. The Mozarabics 
add "Amen " after each of its different petitions. 

In the time of Pope Clement III. (1187-1191), while the 
Crusaders were engaged in fighting for the recovery of the 
sacred places of Palestine, it was customary to recite imme- 
diately after this prayer the psalm " Deus venerunt gentes" 
— " God ! the heathens are come into thy inheritance. " 
Pope Innocent III. ordered the same psalm to be sung, 
together with a verse and a prayer, after the " Pax " ; and 
by a decree of Pope John XXII. (1316-1334) the psalm 
" Laetatus sum " was to be recited in every Mass after the 
" Pater noster " for the extinction of heresies and schisms 
(Romsee, p. 255). 

We had almost forgotten to mention that when the Pope 
celebrates on Easter Sunday, "Amen" is never responded 
to the " Per omnia saeeula saeculorum," immediately before 
the " Pater noster," and this to commemorate a miracle once 
wrought in favor of Pope Gregory the Great, to whom the 
angels responded at this place upon a certain Easter morn- 
ing (ibid.) 


The moment the priest has finished the Lord's Prayer he 
wipes the paten with the purificator, in order to prepare it 
for receiving the sacred Host ; and then, holding it in his 
right hand, resting erect on the altar, recites frhe sequence, 
or, as it is called, the embolismus (that is, something addet 
on) of the " Pater uoster." It is worded as follows : " D< 

Sequence of the Lord's Prayer. 357 

liver us, Lord 1 we beseech thee, from all evils, present, 
past, and future, and through the intercession of the blessed 
and ever-glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with thy 
blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and Andrew, and all tny 
saints, grant of thy goodness peace m our days, that, being 
assisted by the help of thy mercy, we may be always iree, 
from sin and secure from ail disturbance/' 

Many writers are of opinion that the name of St. Andrew 
was here added by Pope Gregory the Great, because he 
cherished a singular devotion to him and built several 
churches in his honor. In early times it was left entirely to 
the celebrant of the Mass what saints' names to add to this 
prayer after that of St. Andrew. He could name any one 
that his own devotion prompted ; and this was the rule, 
with little interruption, until the eleventh century, when 
that now in vogue superseded it. 

The embolismus is recited in secret, because, on ac- 
count of all the saints' names that used to be added to it 
formerly, it could not be easily chanted in High Mass ; and 
from that the custom found its way into Low Mass also. 
De Vert, however, says that this way of saying it was 
adopted in order not to interfere with the singing of the 
choir at this place (Romsee, p. 264). 

When the priest comes to the words, " grant of thy good- 
ness peace in our days," he makes the sign of the cross 
upon his person with the paten, and then kisses the latter at 
its rim. The paten is here kissed because it is about to 
receive our Divine Lord, who is pre-eminently the author of 
peace, and who makes the paten his throne at this solemn 
part of the Mass. Having come to the words, " being as- 
sisted by the help of thy mercy," etc., he places the paten 
under the Host, and then, removing the pall from the chal- 
ice, genuflects to adore our Lord. He then becomes erect, 
and, bringing the Host over the chalice, breaks it first 

3o8 The Celebration of Mass. 

into two equal parts, saying, " Through the same Jesus 
Christ our Lord, tliy Son." The part held in the right hand 
is now placed on the paten, and from tne part he holds in 
his left, still over the elialice, he breaks a minute particle, 
and places the remainder with the other large portion on 
the paten also, reciting during this action the concluding 
words of the prayer, " Who liveth and reigneth with thee in 
the unity of the Holy Ghost, God." Still holding the mi- 
nute particle over the mouth of the chalice, he says aloud, 
" Per omnia ssecula saeculorum," and then, " Pax Domini sit 
semper vobiscum" — "The peace of the Lord be always with 
you." When reciting these last words he makes three 
crosses over the mouth of the chalice with the particle held 
in his right hand, and then lets it fall into the Precious 
Blood, saying at the same time, " May this commixture and 
consecration of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus 
Christ be to us who receive it unto life everlasting." 


The Host is broken in memory of what our Lord himself 
did at the Last Supper and on those occasions afterwards 
which are recorded in Holy Scriptures ; but as regards the 
triple division, all we can say is that in ancient times there 
was much diversity of practice in this respect. Some broke 
it into three portions ; some into four ; and some, like those 
who follow the Mozarabic Rite, into nine. According to the 
ancient Roman Rite, it was first broken into three portions, 
one of which was cast into the chalice; another was reserved 
for communicating the celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon ; 
and the third was kept for the sick. This custom was in 
vogue in the majority of churches, and a vestige of it is yet 
retained in Papal High Mass, where the Holy Father drops 
one part of the Host into the Precious Blood, communi- 
cates himself from another part, and the deacon and sub- 

Explanation of these Ceremonies. 359 

deacon from the third. The like, too, may be seen in the 
consecration of a bishop (Komsee, p. 273). 

According to Durandus, the three crosses made over the 
chalice here with the small panicle are intended to com- 
memorate the three days that the blessed Body of our Lord 
remained in the sepulchre ; and the casting in of this par- 
ticle afterwards to unite with the Precious Blood forcibly 
recalls to mind the union of our Lord's Soul and Body after 
his resurrection. 

We have said that the Mozarabics break the Host into 
nine parts. The first division made is into two equal por* 
tions ; then a subdivision is made by which one portion is 
broken into four parts and the other into five, thus making 
nine in all, which are then arranged on the paten in the 
form of a cross, and a name given to each commemora- 
tive of the principal events in our Lord's life : thus, 1st, the 
Incarnation ; 2d, the Nativity ; 3d, the Circumcision ; 4th, 
the Epiphany ; 5th, the Passion ; 6th, Christ's Death ; 7th, 
his Resurrection ; 8th, the Glory of Christ in heaven ; 9th, 
the Kingdom of Christ. From Easter to Pentecost, and 
also on the Feast of Corpus Christi, while the priest of this 
rite holds the part called the " Kingdom of Christ " in his 
hand over the chalice, he says three times aloud, " The 
Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, has conquered "; 
to which the choir responds, " Thou who sittest upon the 
cherubim, root of David, alleluia." 

Division of the Host in the Oriental Church.— The Greeks 
divide the Host into four parts, one of which the priest 
casts into the chalice ; another he receives himself ; a third 
he puts aside and distributes among the communicants ; and 
the fourth part he reserves for the sick. According to the 
Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, the rubrics touching this cere- 
mony are worded as follows : 

Rubric : The deacon then girds his Orarion [stole] 

360 The Celebration of Mass. 

crosswise and goes into the holy Bema, and standing on 
the right hand (the priest grasping the holy Bread), 
saith : 

Deacon : " Sir, break the Holy Bread." 

Rubric : And the priest, dividing it into four parts 
with care and reverence, saith : 

Priest : " The Lamb of God is broken and distributed ; 
he that is broken and not divided in sunder ; ever eaten and 
never consumed, but sanctifying those who receive him." 

Before the particle is cast into the chalice by the Greeks 
the sign of the cross is first made with it, and it is then al- 
lowed to fall in with the words, " the fulness of the chalice 
of faith of the Holy Ghost, " to which the deacon responds, 

In the Liturgy of St. James the particle is cast into the 
chalice with the words, " The union of the most Holy Body 
and Precious Blood of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus 
Christ." The Copts first divide the Host when pronouncing 
the word f regit — " he broke " — just before they pronounce 
the exact words of institution, and make subdivisions of 
it afterwards a little before communion. The Nestorians 
divide it into three parts, using both hands, and saying 
during the ceremony, " We now approach in the true faith 
of thy name, Lord ! and through thy compassion we 
break, and through thy mercy we sign, the Body and Blood 
of our Lifegiver, the Lord Jesus Christ ; in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost " ; and 
when putting the particle in the chalice, "May the Pre- 
cious Blood be signed with the life-giving Body of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, 
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." From all this we see 
how much the practice of the Eastern Church resembles our 
own in all that concerns the Holy Eucharist. 

An Ancient Custom. — Agnus Dei, 361 


After the recital of the embolismus, or sequence of the 
" Pater noster," the archdeacon who assisted at Episcopal 
Mass was accustomed, in early days, to turn round to the 
congregation and intone "Humiliate vos ad benedictionem " 
— "Bow down for the benediction"; to which the rest of 
the clergy would respond, " Deo gratias." Then the bishop, 
before he said " Pax Domini," would turn to the people 
and impart his solemn blessing. 

According to the Mozarabic Eite, this custom was also 
observed in Low Mass, and that by priests as well as by 
bishops. The fourth Council of Toledo, however, decreed 
that the custom should be abolished. The reason assigned 
by Mabillon (De Liturgiis Oallicanis, lib. i. cap. iv. Nos. 
1 3 et 14) for this ceremony was that those who did not in- 
tend to communicate might leave the church. Hence the 
meaning of that invitation to depart mentioned by Pope 
Gregory the Great : " Si quis non communicat det locum " — 
" If any one does not intend to communicate let him make 


During the recital of the " Agnus Dei " the priest strikes 
his breast three times in humble sorrow for his sins, saying 
the two first times, "Lamb of God who takest away the 
sins of the world, have mercy on us "; and the third time, 
"Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, 
grant us peace." In Masses for the dead the form is, 
" Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, 
grant them rest " ; this is repeated twice, and the third 
time is said, "Lamb of God who takest away the sins of 
the world, grant them eternal rest " ; but the breast is 
not struck at all at these Masses^ inasmuch as they concern 

362 The Celebration of Mass. 

the dead and not the living. The expression " Lamb of 
God," as applied to our Lord, is taken from Holy Scrip- 
ture, where we find it frequently occurring. From the 
relations between our Saviour and the Paschal lamb of the 
ancient law, a preference was given to the use of it in early 

Before the time of Pope Sergius I. (a.d. 687 to 701), the 
chanting of the "Agnus Dei" was solely confined to the 
choir, but by a decree of this pontiff it was also extended to 
the clergy. This is the explanation that Mabillon gives ; 
and it seems in accordance with what the Pontifical Book 
states about the pontiff named, for in its fourteenth chapter 
the following occurs : " He ordained that at the time of the 
fraction of the Body of the Lord 'Agnus Dei qui tollis 
peccata mundi, miserere nobis,' should be sung by the 
clergy and people" (Romsee, p. 281). It is for this reason 
that Pope Sergius is generally accredited with the introduc- 
tion of the " Agnus Dei " into the Mass. But that it ex- 
isted long before his time may be seen from the Sacramen- 
tary of Pope Gregory the Great. 

The number of times, however, that it was to be said 
varied very considerably. Sometimes it was said but once, 
and this was all that Pope Sergius ordered in his decree 
concerning it. At other times it used to be kept up until 
the entire ceremony of the fraction of the sacred Bread had 
been gone through with ; whence it was sung once, twice, 
three t times — as often, in fact, as was necessary. Its double 
repetition was very frequent in the eleventh century ; and 
Belethus (chap, xlviii.) alludes to its triple repetition in the 
century following. The same may be seen in the Missals 
printed at that period, from which it may be fairly inferred 
that the present discipline dates. Nor must we omit to 
mention that the celebrant did not say the " Agnus Dei " at 
all when first introduced, but only the choir. When the 

The Pax. 363 

duty became incumbent on the priest also it is not easy to 
determine. According to Eomsee, the pope used to say it 
in his Mass about the fourteenth century. Very likely it 
became obligatory on priests in general about this period 
also. Another variation that respected its recital was that 
in some places it used to be said once before the Preface 
and twice at the place where it is now recited (Eomsee, 
p. 282). 

The words " grant us peace," added to the last repetition, 
instead of "have mercy on us," have not been always in 
use, nor is it customary now to say them in the church of 
St. John Lateran at Rome. According to very creditable 
authorities (see Bona, p. 358), they were first introduced by 
directions received from the Mother of God, who appeared 
one day to a certain carpenter as he was felling trees in the 
forest, and gave him a medal with the image of our Lord 
upon one side, and the inscription, "Lamb of God, who 
takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace," on the 
other. The Blessed Virgin commanded the carpenter to 
show this medal to the bishop of the place, with the re- 
quest that others might be made in imitation of it and be 
reverently worn, in order that God might restore peace to 
the Church of those days. The addition soon found its 
way into the Mass, where it has been retained ever since. 


Having recited the Agnus Dei, the priest bows a little, 
and, resting his hands upon the altar, recites three prayers 
without changing his posture. The first is a petition to 
Almighty God for that peace which the world cannot give ; 
the second asks for deliverance from all iniquity in virtue 
of the Body and Blood of our Divine Eedeemer ; and the 
third, that the reception of the same Body and Blood may 
prove to be a remedy for all the infirmities of soul and body. 

364 The Celebration of Mass. 

When the Mass is a Solemn High Mass a very ancient 
and interesting ceremony is witnessed here after the recital 
of the first of these prayers — viz., the imparting of the 
" Pax," or kiss of peace, which is kept up in the Mass to 
commemorate that tender-hearted and loving practice which 
our Divine Lord always observed in his intercourse with his 
disciples. And here it may be well to remark that although 
our Blessed Saviour said, " Do this in remembrance of 
me," only of what was done in regard to confecting the 
Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, still the Church has 
thought fit to do not only what her Divine Founder did 
and commanded to be observed afterwards, but also many 
other things which, though not prescribed expressly, are 
yet recorded by the Evangelists as worthy of imitation. 
These she has introduced into the Mass as being the most 
fitting place to commemorate them ; for what is the Mass 
itself but a mystic biography of our Lord's life upon earth ? 
The moment, then, that the celebrant has recited the first 
of these prayers he turns to the deacon, and, having placed 
his hands upon his shoulders, inclines his head slightly 
as if about to kiss him, and says, "Pax tecum" — "Peace 
be with you" — to which the deacon responds, "Et cum 
spiritu tuo" — "And with thy spirit." The pious saluta- 
tion is then taken up by all the other ministers of the altar 
and the clergy who are present, but it is no longer observed 
among the people of the congregation. It is not witnessed 
in Masses for the dead, on account of their lugubrious 
nature, and also for the reason that in former times it was 
not customary to communicate at such • Masses, and the 
"Pax "was intended principally as a ceremony of recon- 
ciliation between man and man previous to the reception of 
the Holy Eucharist (Bona, p. 359). 

In ancient times, when the male portion of the congrega- 
tion was separated from the female portion, the kiss of 

The Pax. 365 

peace went through the entire church ; and this discipline 
continued, with little interruption, up to the time of Pop© 
Innocent III. — that is, until the thirteenth century — when, 
on account of the increasing depravity of morals, and from 
other causes, it was deemed prudent to discontinue the 
practice in its primitive spirit, and substitute another form 
of holy salutation in its stead. A small instrument made of 
silver or gold, and having a representation of our crucified 
Redeemer upon it, was accordingly introduced, and deno- 
minated the osculatorium, which all kissed, even the cele- 
brant, at this part of the Mass. Though once very com- 
mon, this instrument of peace is now seldom seen, at least in 
American churches, the general practice being to approach 
each other as above described, and salute with "Pax te- 
cum." In the ordination of priests the " kiss of peace " is 
commanded to be given as of old by the ordaining bishop 
to the newly-ordained. Many religious orders observe it, 
too, in private life. 

In ancient times it was customary for the priest, before 
he gave the "Pax" to any one else, to stoop down first 
and kiss the sacred Host lying on the paten before him, to 
signify that it is from our Divine Lord that he received 
that peace which he wished to communicate to others. 
This practice was, however, soon abrogated, as it was con- 
sidered somewhat unbecoming, and there was always danger 
attending it on account of the liability of some particles of 
the sacred Host adhering to the lips. 

The custom prevailed in some places, too, of first kissing 
the chalice, and then sending the salutation around in the 
ordinary way among the clergy of the sanctuary. This was 
long in vogue with the Dominicans, and is, to a certain ex- 
tent, observed by them yet ; for their ceremonial directs that 
the priest first kiss the rim of the chalice, and afterwards 
the paten, or the regular instrument of peace presented him 

366 The Celebration of Mass, 

by the deacon, and say : " Peace to thee and to the Holj 
Church of God." The practice of first kissing the missal 
on this occasion, as containing the sacred words of our 
Lord, was in vogue at Cologne, and in many churches of 
France, in the beginning of the sixteenth century. 

Pax in the Oriental Church. — In the Liturgy of St. James 
the "Pax" follows closely upon the recital of the Creed, at 
some distance from the Preface. The time of its observ- 
ance is thus announced by the deacon : " Let us kiss one 
another with a holy kiss ; let us bow our heads to the 
Lord." When the Maronites are giving the " Pax," which, 
like all the Orientals, they do before the Preface, the cele- 
brant first kisses the altar and the sacred oblation placed 
upon it, saying: "Peace to thee, altar of God, and peace 
to the mysteries placed upon thee "; then gives it to the at- 
tending minister with the words : " Peace to thee, minister 
of the Holy Ghost." The whole congregation then go 
through the ceremony, beginning with a general shaking of 
hands. The only Western rite which gives the kiss of peace 
before the Preface is the Mozarabic. The salutation in 
many of the ancient churches when imparting it used to be : 
"May the peace of Christ and his Church abound in you" 
(Bona, p. 358). Cardinal Bona is of opinion that it was 
the Franciscans who induced the Holy See to discon- 
tinue giving the " Pax " according to the primitive mode, 
on account of certain abuses that were gradually creeping 
into the ceremony. This opinion is also sustained by Pope 
Benedict XIV. {Enchiridion Sacr. Missce, p. 106). 


At the end of the last of the three prayers mentioned the 
priest genuflects, and, upon becoming erect, says : "I will 
receive the Bread of heaven, and call upon the name of the 
Lord " — words taken from the one hundredth and fifteenth 

Communion of the Priest, 367 

Psalm, with the exception of "Bread of heaven." For- 
merly the words used here varied very much, nor was it 
until the thirteenth century that anything like uniformity 
was established concerning them. The Carmelite priests say 
here at the present day : " Hail, Salvation of the world, 
Word of the Father, Sacred Host, Living Flesh, Perfect 
God, Perfect Man!" 

Having recited the words above given, the priest takes the 
sacred Host from the paten, and, supporting the latter un- 
der it with his left hand, raises it a little from the altar and 
says : " Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter 
under my roof; say but the word and my soul shall be 
healed." ' This solemn protest, taken from the reply of the 
centurion mentioned in the Gospels, he repeats three times, 
striking his breast at each repetition ; and then raising the 
Host to about the height of his eyes, and tracing with it the 
sign of the cross in front of him, says : " May the Body of 
9ur Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlasting. 
Amen." He then stoops down, and, resting his elbows 
reverently on the altar, receives the sacred Host. After 
this he becomes erect and pauses awhile in solemn medita- 
tion with his hands joined before his face. 

It is well to remark here that the teeth must never be 
applied to the sacred Host when it enters the mouth. It 
must be swallowed by the sole aid of the tongue ; and if a 
difficulty should be experienced in this respect, on no ac- 
count must the finger be introduced to overcome it. 

Next follows the communion of the chalice. To this end 
the priest removes the pall from the mouth of the chalice, 
and, having made a genuflection as before, recites the words, 

1 In the Latin foYm as used here the expression for " say the word " is die verbo, 
where we would naturally expect die verbum. In using the ahlative instead of the 
accusative form the Church has followed the Greek of St. Luke-viz., tint A6y<f>-in 
preference to the eiiri \6yov of St. Matthew. In the Syriac (the language in which St 
MattUw is supposed to have written his Gospel) both forms are the same. 

368 The Celebration of Mass. 

"What shall I render to the Lord for all the good things 
that he has rendered me ? " (Psalm cxv. ) He then takes 
the paten in hand, and gathers up with it, from the corpo- 
ral, any loose particles that may have remained upon the 
latter from contact with the sacred Host, all of which he 
allows to drop into the chalice by the aid of the thumb and 
index finger of his right hand. After this he places his 
hand on the Chalice, saying, " I will receive the Chalice of 
Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord ; praising I 
will invoke the Lord, and will be safe from my enemies " 
(Psalm cxv.) Then placing the paten under his chin with 
his left hand, and taking the chalice in his right, he makes 
the sign of the cross and communicates with the words, 
" May the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul 
to life everlasting. Amen." 




Ik order to give such members of the congregation as may 
be desirous of communicating timely notice of this sacred 
work, it is customary for the server of the Mass to ring the 
little hand-bell each time that the priest says, " Domine non 
sum dignus," just before he communicates. The people 
then advance to the sanctuary rails, where they take a kneel- 
ing posture, and, having placed the communion cloth im- 
mediately under their chins, await the approach of the priest. 
The server, in the meantime, recites in their behalf the 
same form of Confession that was said at the beginning of 
Mass, while the priest is getting ready the Sacred Particles 
for distribution. To this end he opens the tabernacle, and, 
having made a genuflection, takes therefrom the cibonum 
in which these Particles are kept, and places it on the 
corporal in front of him. He uncovers it immediately, 
and, having made another genuflection, turns a little to- 
wards the communicants and pronounces over them the 
two following prayers : 1st, " May the almighty God have 
mercy on you, forgive you your sins, and bring you to 
life everlasting." 2d, " May the almighty and merciful 
God grant you pardon, absolution, and remission of your 
sins." When pronouncing this form of absolution he makes 
the sign of the cross over all at the rails, and, having made 
ft third genuflection, takes the ciborium in his left hand, 


370 The Celebration of Mass. 

and, holding a Particle over it with his right, says in ai 
audible tone, " Behold the Lamb of God ; behold who tak- 
eth away the sins of the world. Lord, I am not worthy that 
thou shouldst enter under my roof ; say but the word and 
sny soul shall be healed." This latter protestation he pro- 
nounces three times, and then descends to the rails, where 
he distributes the Sacred Particles to the communicants, 
always beginning at the Epistle side. At this part of di- 
vine service all are on a level — rich and poor, learned and 
illiterate, king and peasant. All kneel together at the 
same rail, and, side by side, receive their Lord at the same 
time without any distinction of ceremony by reason of rank 
or title ; and so careful is the Church of the reputation of 
her children that she forbids the priest to pass any one by 
at the rails, no matter how unworthy that person be, pro- 
vided his criminality is secret ; thus imitating that singular 
charity of her Divine Founder, who allowed Judas to com- 
municate at the Last Supper, although he knew that he 
would soon betray him. In administering the Blessed Par- 
ticle to each person the priest says, " May the Body of our 
Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. 
Amen." Unless in danger of death, Holy Communion 
must be always received fasting. 

Having communicated all, the priest returns to the altar 
and encloses the ciborium in the tabernacle with the cus- 
tomary genuflections. He then holds out the chalice to the 
server, and receives about as much wine in it for the ablu- 
tion as was first put into it for consecration. While doing 
this he says: "What we have taken with our mouth, 
Lord ! may we receive with pure mind ; and from being a 
temporal gift may it become for us an eternal remedy." 
The Holy Eucharist is here called " a temporal gift," inas- 
much as received here below by wayfaring men. It is de- 
nominated " an eternal remedy " in accordance with what 

Holy Communion in Ancient Times. 371 

our Lord himself says of it : "If any man eat this Bread 
he shall live for ever." The wine is taken into the chalice 
in order to purify it from all traces of the Precious Blood, 
and is drunk by the priest instead of being thrown into the 
sacrarium, as was the custom in early times (Bona, p. 371). 
Having drunk this first ablution, the priest takes the chal- 
ice with both hands, and proceeds to the Epistle corner of 
the altar to receive the second ablution from the server, 
consisting of wine and water, which he allows to fall into 
the chalice through the tips of the thumb and index finger 
of each hand held over the chalice's mouth, and this to 
purify them from any particles of the sacred Host that may 
have adhered to them. He drinks this second ablution also ; 
and having then purified the chalice with the purificator — 
instead of which the Greeks use a sponge — arranges it in the 
centre of the altar, putting all that belongs to it in the 
proper places. 


In the early days of the Christian Church's existence the 
people were accustomed to communicate every time they as- 
sisted at Mass ; and many would do this frequently on the 
same day, if they assisted at more Masses than one and were 
still fasting. St. Jerome says in his Epist. 1. to Pam- 
machius that this praiseworthy custom prevailed through- 
out Spain and at Rome in the fourth century. By degrees, 
however, the practice went so much into desuetude that 
St. John Chrysostom, who died in the early part of the 
fifth century, bitterly complained of it to his people. " In 
vain," said he when Bishop of Constantinople, "is there 
a daily oblation when there is no one present to com- 
municate." Notwithstanding all attempts to check it, cold- 
ness in this respect went on increasing from day to day 
and from year to year, until the Church found it neces* 

372 The Celebration of Mass. 

sary to enact laws requiring all to approach Holy Com- 
munion at least on Sundays and festivals. We see a statute 
in the Capitulary of Charlemagne (1. v., No. 182) strictly 
enjoining this practice. In course of time still greater 
latitude was given, for it was only required that a person 
should communicate at three special periods of the year 
— viz., on Christmas day, Easter Sunday, and Pentecost. 
The decree specifying these three occasions was promulgated 
by the Council of Tours in the ninth century, during the 
pontificate of Pope Leo III. The Council of Agatho, held 
some time before, ordained that those who did not approach 
the Blessed Eucharist on these occasions should not be 
looked on as Catholics at all (Romsee, p. 309). This prac- 
tice continued until about the thirteenth century, when the 
fourth Council of Lateran, a.d. 1215, held under the aus- 
pices of Pope Innocent III., solemnly declared and decreed, 
under pain of excommunication, that all the faithful who 
had reached the years of discretion should confess their sins 
at least once a year and approach Holy Communion within 
the Paschal time. 1 This solemn injunction was confirmed 
and renewed by the Council of T r ent, J which said in its 
twenty-second session that it desired that the faithful should 
communicate not only once a year, but every time they as- 
sisted at Mass, if their consciences were pure and guiltless 
before God. Practical Catholics now, as a general rule, 
approach Holy Communion the first Sunday of every month 
and on every intermediate festival of note. Many have 
the pious practice of going once a week ; and it is 

1 The Paschal time commences, strictly speaking, on Palm Snnday and ends on Low 
Sunday. The time in Ireland, hy an apostolic indult, is from Ash Wednesday nntil the 
Feast of SS. Peter and Paul (June 29) ; in England, hy a similar indult, from Ash 
Wednesday till Low Sunday ; and in America from the first Sunday in Lent to Trinity 

a The Council of Trent opened on December 13, 1545, and lasted, but with con- 
liderable interruption, until the year 1568. 

Communion under both Kinds. 373 

not unfrequent, thank God ! to meet tri- weekly communi- 


Up to the twelfth century Holy Communion was admin- 
istered to the faithful under both kinds, as we see from 
numerous testimonies (Kozma, p. 236 ; Komsee, p. 311). 
After this time it began to be restricted to the celebrant, 
but the restriction did not become a universal law of the 
Church until the Council of Constance, in a.d. 1414, de- 
clared it such. We shall see what prompted this declara- 

It is worth observing that whenever any of the Church's 
adversaries taught as a matter of dogma what she herself 
only considered a matter of discipline, to confound their im- 
piety she either dropped the practice altogether or strenu- 
ously exerted herself in an entirely opposite direction. 
The Ebionites, for example, held that the Holy Eucharist 
could be confected with no other kind of bread but un- 
leavened, or azymes ; to confound these the Church allowed 
for some time the use of leavened bread also. The Arme- 
nians maintained that it was wholly unlawful to mix even 
the smallest drop of water with the wine used for consecra- 
tion ; the Church said that it was not so, and that, rather 
than grant dispensation in this respect to this people, she 
would suffer the entire body of them to separate from her 
communion ; still, she looked upon the observance as en- 
tirely disciplinary. The arch-heretic Luther said that those 
Masses at which only the priest himself communicated were 
idolatrous and should be abolished at once. The Church, 
on the other hand, approved of them, and granted full 
faculties to the priests of those days to celebrate them at 
pleasure. This brings us to the question under considera- 
tion. John Huss held such fanatical views about the neces- 

574 Tlie Celebration of Mass. 

sity of Communion under both kinds that the whole*land 
was disturbed by his teaching. According to him, the 
Church could not dispense with the obligation of receiving 
both species, for Communion under one kind was no Com- 
munion at all, and that all who received in that way 
were damned. Huss was supported in these views by his 
disciples, Jerome of Prague, Jacobellus of Misnia, and 
Peter of Dresden. To confound these heretics, and for 
other very wise reasons, the Council of Constance, assembled 
in a.d. 1414, declared that Communion under one species 
was as true a participation of the Body and Blood of the 
Lord, in virtue of what theologians called concomitance, as 
if both species were received ; and that all who held dif- 
ferently were to be anathematized as heretics. A decree was 
then issued by said council abrogating Communion under 
the species of wine ; and from this dates our present disci- 
pline in this respect (Kozma, p. 236). But the practice oi 
receiving under both kinds, even after this decree, was en- 
joyed, as a particular favor of the Holy See, by certain per- 
sons and in a few particular places. It was granted, for 
instance, 1st, to the kings of France on the day of their 
coronation, and also at the point of death ; 2d, it was al- 
lowed to the deacon and subdeacon of Papal High Mass ; 
3d, the deacon and subdeacon of the Monastery of St. Diony- 
sius, near Paris, communicated under both kinds on Sun- 
days and festivals, as did also the monks of Cluny (Rom- 
see, p. 306). 

Four principal reasons, not including the heresy of John 
Huss and his followers, induced the Church to abandon 
Communion under the species of wine : 1st, the great 
danger the Precious Blood was exposed to in communicat- 
ing so many ; 2d, the scarcity of wine in certain regions, 
and the difficulty in procuring genuine wine in northern 
climates ; 3d, the nausea that this species creates in some 

Communion under the Species of Bread. 3?5 

people; 4th, the great difficulty of reserving the Holy 
Eucharist under this kind in warm climates, where the 
tendency to acidify is very great. 


Some of the ablest commentators see in the " breaking of 
bread from house to house," and in other similar expres- 
sions of the New Testament, Communion under one species 
only ; and it is admitted by all that in this way did the two 
disciples communicate whom our Lord met on the way to 
Emmaus on Easter Sunday after his Resurrection, for, as 
the narrative has it, " they knew him in the breaking of 
bread." Communion under one kind has been common 
ever since the days of the apostles, especially in case of 
sick persons and of those who lived a great distance from 
the church ; and we shall see a little further on that the 
Orientals have practised such Communion from time im- 

Order of Receiving in Ancient Times. — After the celebrant 
had communicated, the sacred ministers attending him 
communicated next in order — first the deacon, then the 
subdeacon, and after him the rest of the clergy. The Com- 
munion of the people, which took place at the rails, was 
arranged in the following order : deaconesses, virgins con- 
secrated to God, children, then the grown people of the 
congregation — the men first, and then the women (Kozma, 
p. 240). This order is fully set forth in the Apostolic Con- 

Manner of Receiving. — With very little exception, it was 
customary during the first five or six centuries to place the 
sacred Host in the hands of the communicant and let 
him communicate himself. The male portion received the 

376 The Celebration of Mass. 

Blessed Particle in their naked hands, one placed over the 
other in the form of a cross, and the palm of the right bent 
a little so as to have it hollow-shaped, in order that there 
might be n© danger of letting the Particle fall off. The 
females never received the Host in the naked hands, but 
were always required to bring with them, when they in- 
tended to communicate, a clean linen cloth called a domini- 
cal, with which they covered their hands when about to 
receive the consecrated Particle. The rule in this respect 
was so rigid that, should a female present herself for Com- 
munion and be without this hand-cloth, she would be 
obliged to leave the rails and defer receiving until another 
occasion. The custom of thus receiving the sacred Host in 
the hands was instituted to commemorate what was done at 
the Last Supper, when the apostles received in this way. 
But as the custom was open to many dangers and abuses in 
places where large numbers approached the Holy Table, it 
was abrogated about the beginning of the ninth century 
(Kozma, p. 241). 

Form used in giving the Holy Eucharist.— In early times 
the words used by the priest in giving Holy Communion 
were, for the species of bread, "Corpus Christi" — "the 
Body of Christ" — to which the receiver answered, "Amen"; 
and for the species of wine, "Sanguis Christi poculum 
Salutis "— " the Blood of Christ, the cup of Salvation "—to 
which "Amen" was also answered. About the time of 
Pope Gregory the Great (sixth century) the form had 
changed into " Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi conser- 
vet animam tuam" — "May the Body of our Lord Jesus 
Christ preserve your soul" — to which the receiver would 
respond, as before, "Amen." With Alcuin, preceptor of 
Charlemagne, we find the form, " May the Body of our Lord 
Jesus Christ preserve you unto life everlasting." 

Tlie Holy Eucharist carried on Journeys. 377 



During the days of persecution permission was granted 
the faithful to bring the Biessed Sacrament to their houses 
and communicate themselves in case of imminent death. 
St. Basil speaks of this custom as prevailing throughout all 
Egypt. Tertullian and St. Cyprian frequently allude to it 
also. The Holy Eucharist on these occasions used to be 
carefully put away in little boxes specially made for the pur- 
pose, on the lids of which some such pious devices as IHS 
(Jesus) or XP (Christ) used to be engraved. These boxes 
were generally made of gold or silver when owned by the 
wealthy classes, and had a ring attached to their lids, 
through which was passed a string, in order to fasten them 
to the neck (see Hierurgia, p. 194, note). 


According to the present discipline of the Church, per- 
mission is enjoyed by no person, no matter how exalted his 
dignity, unless it be the Holy Father himself, to carry the 
Blessed Sacrament on his person when travelling, except for 
the purpose of communicating the sick. In ancient times, 
however, this permission was often granted, but generally in 
case of vsry long and dangerous journeys ; and we see that 
many of the Urientals make it a practice yet to bring it with 
them whenever they intend to set out on any hazardous 
voyage. This is especially the case with the Maronites 
(Denzinger, Eitus Orient., p. 99). When the Pope conveys 
the Blessed Sacrament publicly on any long journey from 
Rome, a sort of procession is generally organized of the 
Noble and Swiss Guards, and of the other functionaries and 
officials who usually attend him ; but there is no demonstra- 
tion whatever made when the Holy Father is travelling 

378 The Celebration of Mass. 

privately. He then carries the Blessed Sacrament around 
his neck, as Pope Pius IX., of blessed memory, did in his 
flight from Rome to Gaeta in 1848. 

The Armenians (that is, the schismatic Armenians) are 
much to blame for allowing the Blessed Sacrament to be 
carried on caravan expeditions through the country, and 
that, too— to their shame be it said— by lay persons, by the 
merchants who organize these caravans for the purpose of 
selling their wares. 


For a long time it was customary to communicate chil- 
dren, under the species of wine, immediately after their 
baptism. This used to be done by the priest dipping his 
finger in the Precious Blood and then putting it into the 
child's mouth to suck. The custom is still kept up in the 
East, where Baptism, Holy Eucharist, and Confirmation are 
administered on the same occasion. Romsee says (iv. p. 
309) that this custom prevailed, at least in some churches 
of the West, up to the eleventh century. According to the 
practice of the modern Greek Church, infants are now gene- 
rally given the Precious Blood in a spoon. 


So great was the faith of the primitive Christians in the 
virtue of the Holy Eucharist that, not content with giving 
it to the living, they also placed it in the grave with the 
dead, in order that it might be a safeguard against the 
wiles of the devil, and as a companion for that body which 
had been through life, in virtue of the participation of the 
sacraments of the Church, the temple of the Holy Ghost, as 
blessed Paul the Apostle says. But there were other reasons 
for this strange practice. Many believed, in simplicity of 
mind, that the Blessed Sacrament in this case would answei 

Holy Communion when given by the Bishop. 379 

as a substitute for the last rites of the Church, should it 
happen that the person had died suddenly or otherwise un- 

It is generally said that a stop was put to this practice by 
a miracle which was witnessed at the grave of a person re- 
cently buried. The Blessed Sacrament, as the story goes, 
was interred with the corpse, but the moment the grave was 
covered the earth burst open, and after some time the coffin 
was exposed to view. As no miracle was apprehended at 
first, the earth was gathered up and the grave made over 
anew ; but the same thing happened again — the earth 
was scattered, as before, in all directions. This led to an 
examination as to the probable cause, and as it was found 
that the Blessed Sacrament sprang forth from the body of 
the deceased person, it was concluded that it was a portent 
of the displeasure of God. The custom, it is said, ceased 
from that time. (The reader must take our own statement 
of this story instead of better authority, as we find it im- 
possible to recall the name of the work in which we read 
it.) Be this story true or false, the practice, as bordering 
on irreverence, was very early condemned, first by the third 
Council of Carthage, in a.d. 393, and afterwards by those of 
Auxerre, in France, and Trullo, at Constantinople. 

In examining ancient customs we must be careful not to 
form hasty conclusions, and condemn our fathers in the 
faith for what may seem irreverent to us, but was never so 
intended by them. 


Whenever the bishop administered Holy Communion he 
gave the kiss of peace first to the ministers assisting him, and 
then to those whom he communicated, who also in turn 
saluted him. There is a vestige of this ancient practice yet 
in vogue ; for, according to our modern discipline, whoever 

380 The Celebration of Mass. 

receives Holy Communion from a bishop is required to kiss 
his ring Urst. The true origin of this ceremony is founded 
on the fact that in ancient times all the faithful wer e re- 
garded as forming one common family with the bishop as 
their head, and as a pledge of this spiritual union the kiss 
of peace used to be imparted upon receiving the great Head 
and Father of all (Mabillon, Comment in Ord. Rom.; 
Valesius, Not. ad Eusebii Hist., 1. vi. c. xliii. ; Kozma, 
Liturg. tiacr. Cathol, p. 243, note; Bona, p. 359). The 
modern practice of kneeling down to kiss the bishop's ring 
is derived from this ancient custom. 


Nothing can exceed the singular care that the Church 
always manifests in everything that concerns the Blessed 
Eucharist. We have spoken already of the minute direc- 
tions she has given about the vessels in which it is kept — 
the chalice, the cibormm, the pyx, and the tabernacle ; how 
clean and precious they must be, how they are to be 
touched, and who has the right to touch them ; and then, 
again, the sacred linens, and the extraordinary care that must 
be taken of them in Mass and out of it. Every imagin- 
able accident, too, that could happen to the Blessed Sacra- 
ment is provided for ; and directions on this head of the 
most minute kind are printed in all the missals, in order 
that every priest may know what to do in each case. 
Should a Particle fall to the ground, for instance, it is order- 
ed that the spot where it fell should be carefully marked by 
a strip of linen, and afterwards scraped and washed and the 
ablution thrown into the sacrarium. It was the considera- 
tion of all this care bestowed on the Blessed Sacrament by 
the Church, coupled with the magnificent and solemn gran- 
deur of the ceremonies of Holy Mass, that drew from Fre- 
derick the Great that noble and magnanimous saying: 

Holy Communion in the Eastern Church. 381 

"The Calvinists treat Almighty God as a servant ; the Lu- 
therans as an equal ; the Catholics as a God " (Kozma, 
Liturg. Sacr. Cathol., Praefatio). 

In Spain, whenever the Blessed Sacrament is borne 
through the streets on a sick-call, red curtains hang in all 
the principal windows, and the people fall on their knees at 
their doors until " His Majesty " (the common appellation in 
that country of the Blessed Sacrament) has passed by (Im- 
pressions of Spain, by Lady Herbert). At Seville the choir 
dance before the Host on the Feast of Corpus Christi, in 
imitation of David's dancing before the Ark of the Cove- 
nant ; and so exceedingly devout is this dance in all respects 
that persons who have witnessed it describe it as singu- 
larly touching. Lady Herbert tells us, on page 137, that no 
one could speak of the holy dance of Corpus Christi at 
Seville without emotion. Spain is pre-eminently the land 
of the Blessed Sacrament. It is by no means unusual to 
see in the streets of some of its principal cities little chil- 
dren cluster together in groups, and cry out one to another, 
as the Most Holy is borne to the sick, " Sale su Mages tad " 
— "His Majesty is going out !" 


According to the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, the cele- 
brant of the Mass communicates first, under the follow- 
ing form of words : " The blessed and most holy Body of 
our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ is communi- 
cated to me, N., priest, for the remission of my sins and 
life everlasting." When receiving the chalice he says : 
"I, N., priest, partake of the pure and holy Blood of out 
Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission 
of my sins and life everlasting." When communicating the 
deacon the priest says : "N., the holy deacon, is made par- 
taker of the precious, holy, and spotless Body of our Lord 

382 The Celebration of Mass. 

and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission of his 
eins and life everlasting." In giving the Precious Blood to 
the deacon the form is the same as when the priest receives. 
According to the Coptic Rite, the priest first kisses the 
sacred Host before he receives it, and then communicates 
the rest (Eenaudot, p. 261). The form, according to the 
Nestorian Rite, for communicating a priest is, " The Body 
of our Lord to the chaste priest for the forgiveness of sins." 
The form of giving the chalice is the same. 

Communion of the People in the Eastern Church. — As we 
have said already, it is customary all through the East, 
with Catholics and schismatics alike, to administer Holy 
Communion under both species. There are three par- 
ticular ways of performing this ceremony : According to 
the first, the sacred Host is given by itself, then the com- 
municant drinks from the chalice ; according to the second, 
the sacred Host is given by the priest to each communi- 
cant, and the chalice is administered by the deacon through 
the aid of a small spoon, which he dips into it and after- 
wards puts into the mouth of the receiver ; and accord- 
ing to the third way, which is the most common, the Holy 
Bread is broken into many minute particles, and, having 
been steeped in the wine, is afterwards given to the 
communicant in a spoon. In this last case there is no 
separate receiving of the Precious Blood. The first way 
here spoken of is peculiar to the ministers of the altar ; also 
to the patriarch, if he should be present. The minor clergy 
receive in the second way, and the laity in the third. In 
some of the Syro-Jacobite churches the priest goes down 
to the laity with the paten and the deacon with the chalice, 
upon which occasion the priest dips the Particles in the 
Precious Blood and distributes them to the people. In 
many places in the East a lighted taper is borne by some 
of the assistant ministers at this time. 

Holy Communion in the Eastern Church. 383 

With the Nestorians the method of communicating the 
laity is rather peculiar. The priest first comes out with the 
Holy Bread in a napkin fastened around his neck, and the 
deacon carries the Precious Blood in a large bowl with a 
cloth under it, intended as a purificator. Each communi- 
cant in succession stands up before the priest and holds his 
hand under his chin to receive any loose particles that may 
fall from the sacred Host. After he has partaken of the 
latter he goes to the deacon and sips a little from the bowl, 
then wipes his mouth on the napkin carried for this pur- 
pose. He then returns to his place, keeping his hand up 
to his mouth for some time (Smith and Dwight, Re- 
searches in Armenia, ii. p. 262). The formula of distri- 
bution among the laity, according to the Liturgy of St. 
Chrysostom, is : "N., the servant of God, is made partaker 
of the pure and holy Body and Blood of our Lord and 
God and Saviour Jesus Christ, for the remission of his sins 
and life everlasting." The rubric on this head directs the 
receiver to draw near with reverence and hold his arms 
crossed upon his breast. It is not customary in any part of 
the East to kneel while receiving ; all stand up, but bow 
the head a little as the Blessed Sacrament approaches. 

The directions given in the Coptic rituals about the 
administration of Holy Communion to the laity are ex- 
ceedingly praiseworthy. Nothing can exceed the singular 
reverence that the Copts show our Lord upon these oc- 
casions. According to their rubrics, the priest and dea- 
con descend from the altar, the one with the Holy Bread, 
the other with the chalice, and advance to where the com- 
municants are, all of whom the priest blesses with the paten 
when he arrives there. An assistant deacon bears a lighted 
candle before the sacred Host. The moment each person 
is communicated he retires to his place, moving so as not to 
turn his back on the Blessed Sacrament, as Judas is said to 

384 Th* Celebration of Mass. 

have done, according to the tradition of the Copts. When 
the Communion of the male portion of the congregation has 
been administered in this way, that of the females begins. 
Exceeding great care is required to be taken in the latter 
case, for, as all the females of the East are veiled in church 
and out of it, it is often impossible to discern who the per- 
son is that you have to deal with, and, according to the 
Coptic canons, the Blessed Eucharist must not be given to 
any unknown person (Eenaudot, i. p. 205). When all the 
females are communicated the sacred ministers return to 
the altar. 

Form used in Communicating. — The form of Communion 
in use with the Copts is : " The Body and Blood of Eman- 
uel our God is really here "; and he who receives says, 
"Amen." It is worthy of remark that the Copts al- 
ways communicate the laity by dipping the Host in the 
chalice, and not by administering both separately. He who 
receives Holy Communion must shut his mouth and be 
very careful not to rub the Precious Particle with his teeth ; 
he must have his head uncovered, his hands disposed in the 
form of a cross ; must be humble in his bearing, with eyea 
cast down, and profound recollection depicted on his coun- 

The Abyssinians, too, are very strict in their discipline 
regarding Holy Communion. With them it is customary 
for all who are going to receive to wash their hands first, 
and afterwards approach with great humility and recollec- 
tion. Just before distributing the sacred Particles the 
priest stands in front of the communicants, and, holding 
the Host in his hand, says aloud : " Behold the Bread of 
the Saints I Let him who is free from sin approach ; but let 
him who is stained with sin retire, lest God strike him 
with his lightning ; as for me, I wash my hands of his 
sin." Out of respect for the Holy Eucharist, the com- 

Holy Communion in the Eastern Church. 385 

manicants are cautioned against expectorating during the 
entire day. 

Communion under one Kind in the East.— Outside of Mass 
the Orientals rarely administer Holy Communion under any 
other form than that of bread. There is hardly any excep- 
tion to this rule throughout the entire East when the Com- 
munion is intended for the sick. The discipline of the 
Greeks in this respect is very singular. They do not cele- 
brate regular Mass on any of the days of Lent, except Satur- 
days, Sundays, and the Feast of the Annunciation. In or- 
der, then, that a sufficiency of consecrated Particles may be 
always on hand for the sake of the sick, they consecrate on 
these occasions a large quantity of bread, which they steep 
in the chalice before the Precious Blood is consumed. They 
then take this sacred bread out, and, having placed it on a 
large paten, apply heat to the latter until it becomes warm 
enough to cause all the moisture of the Host to evaporate. 
By this means the Holy Bread becomes almost as hard as 
flint, and is rendered proof against all danger of corruption, 
so that it may be put away with safety for an entire year, il 
necessary. When communicating the sick afterwards with 
this, ordinary wine is sprinkled over it in order to soften it 
(Goar, Euchol. Grate, p. 208). 

Throughout the entire East the general term for a conse- 
crated Particle is Margarita — that is, a pearl. The Syrians 
Call it Margonita, but both words are the same. The term 
Carlo, a coal, is frequently applied to the large Host on ac- 
count of its vivifying nature. 

We shall now return to the end of the Communion accord- 
ing to the Latin Rite. 

After the priest has adjusted the chalice he goes to the 
Epistle side, and there reads from the missal the prayer 
called the " Communio," which is a short antiphon bearing 

586 The Celebration of Mass. 

upon the feast of the day, and generally taken from the Psal- 
ter. In former times this prayer was denominated " Anti- 
phona ad Communionem," and it was customary to sing it, 
together with some portions of a psalm, or, if necessary, the 
entire psalm, while r he priest was communicating the people. 
Having read the " Communio," the priest goes to the centre 
of the altar, kisses it, and, having turned round to the people, 
says: "Dominus vobiscum." He goes to the missal again, 
and reads from it, in an audible tone, as many prayers called 
" Post-Communions " as he read collects at the beginning of 
Mass. In many ancient missals the " Post-Communion" is in- 
scribed " Oratio ad complendum, ,, or the concluding prayer, 
because the moment it was said the people were dismissed 
from church. During the Lenten season it was customary 
to add a prayer for the sake of those who could not, for legi- 
timate reasons, approach Holy Communion with the rest. 
This used to be called the " Oratio super Populum," and in 
the Sacramentaries of Pope Gelasius and Pope Gregory the 
Great we find it prescribed for every occasion on which any 
of the people did not communicate. Now the "Oratio super 
Populum " is confined solely to Lent, and is always the same 
as the prayer said at Vespers, for the reason that, according 
to the ancient discipline, Vespers and Mass formed one joint 
act during this season — a vestige of which we have to-day in 
the service of Holy Saturday — and the last prayer of the one 
was made to serve for the other also. It must be borne In 
mind that up to the twelfth century it was the rule during 
Lent to defer the celebration of Mass until the nin^n hour 
of the day — that is, until three o'clock in the afternoon, 
the time at which regular Vespers began. Up to this 
houi all were obliged to remain fasting. When the disci- 
pline of the Church was changed in this respect the after- 
noon meal was appointed foi midday, and Mass was changed 
to the forenoon. The " Oratio super Populum," however, 

End of Mass. 387 

was left as it stood, and this is why itself and the prayer at 
Vespers are the same to-day. This prayer is never said on 
Sunday, because that day was never kept as a fasting day. 

After the last prayer the priest closes the book, and, hav- 
ing turned round at the middle of the altar to the people, 
salutes them for the last time with "Dominus vobiscum," 
and, if the Mass of the day admit of it, subjoins, without 
changing his position, "Ite missa est" — " Go, the dismis- 
sal is at hand." If the occasion should not admit of the 
dismissal of the people, he says instead of this, but facing 
the altar, " Benedicamus Domino " — " Let us bless the 
Lord." According to the arrangement of Pope Pius V., the 
yule to be guided by in this respect is that whenever the 
"Te Deum " is said in the Divine Office "Ite missa est" is 
Baid in the Mass ; but when the " Te Deum " is not said, 
then " Benedicamus Domino." 

The "Ite missa est" was originally an invitation to leave 
the church ; but it is not so now, for Mass is not finished un- 
til the end of the last Gospel. It is, therefore, like many 
other things, merely kept up to preserve a vestige of an 
ancient rite. The precise force of the " Benedicamus 
Domino " said at this place will be readily seen when we 
bear in mind that during the penitential seasons it was cus- 
tomary to say some part of the Divine Office after Mass ; and 
as the people generally were present at this, they were not 
dismissed at the regular place, but were invited to remain 
and continue their devotions to the Lord. Durandus tells 
us that in many places it was customary to say " Benedica- 
mus Domino" instead of "Ite missa est" after the first 
Mass on Christmas morning, for the reason that the office 
of Lauds immediately followed, at which the people always 
assisted. This custom is yet kept up at Lodi (Romsee, p. 

388 The Celebration of Mais. 

Touching the exact rendition of these words into Eng- 
lish a diversity of opinion exists. According to some, the 
full form is, "Ite missa est Hostia"— "Go, the Host has 
been sent on high "; according to others, it is, "Ite missa 
est ecclesia"— "Go, the church, or assembly, is dismissed." 
The great majority, however, interpret the words in an en- 
tirely different way, and in doing so they are supported by 
the strongest authority. The word " missa " here has precise- 
ly the same meaning — and is, in fact, the same word, only in 
a different form — as " missio," or " dimissio," the Latin noun 
for dismissal; and therefore, according to this, "Ite missa 
est "is nothing else but "Ite missio est "—that is, "Go, 
the dismissal is at hand." The practice of using the parti- 
cipial form in such cases as this, instead of the real substan- 
tive, was very common with the early Fathers, and we find 
instances also of it in Cicero, Horace, Ovid, Virgil, and Sue- 
tonius. Tertullian and St. Cyprian both use " remissa " in- 
stead of " remissio." The first says, for example, " Diximus 
de remissa peccatorum " (lib. iv. ad Marcionem) ; the second, 
" Dominus baptizatur a servo, et remissam peccatorum da- 
turus," etc. (Hierurgia, by Dr. Rock, p. 210, note). 

Having said the " Ite missa est," the priest turns to the 
altar, and, with hands placed upon it, recites the prayer, 
"Placeat tibi, Sancta Trinitas," to the Holy Trinity, asking 
that his service may be pleasing on high. After this prayer 
he turns and blesses the people in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. In Masses for the 
dead there is no blessing, for reasons that we shall presently 
see ; nor is there any dismissal, because the people are sup- 
posed to remain for the absolution of the body and its inter- 
ment. The priest, on such occasions, turns to the altar an£ 
simply says, " Requiescant in pace." 

End of Mass in Ancient Times, 389 

Dismissal in tlie Eastern Church. — The forms used in 
the Eastern Church vary with the different liturgies. In 
some places the dismissal is, "Go in peace"; in others, 
"Let us depart in peace"; and in a number of places, 
" Let us go in the peace of Christ." In the Liturgy 
of St. James the expression is, "In the peace of Christ 
let us depart." In most of the Oriental churches a long 
prayer is sometimes read, called the prayer of dismissal, 
after which all the people leave the church. According to 
the Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, this prayer is worded as 
follows : "The grace of thy lips, shining forth like a torch, 
illuminated the world, enriched the universe with the trea- 
sures of liberality, and manifested to us the height of 
humility ; but do thou, our instructor, by thy words, Fa- 
ther John Chrysostom, intercede to the Word, Christ our 
God, that our souls may be saved." 


That Mass formerly terminated at the "Ite missa est" 
is too well known to need proof, for the Gospel of St. John 
is a late introduction. The old custom is yet kept up by 
the Carthusians, who neither say the "Placeat tibi," as we 
do, nor bless the people at this place. 

The custom of blessing the people at this part of the Mass 
only goes as far back as the tenth century. Before this time 
the only blessing given was that spoken of as taking place 
before the "kiss of peace" (Bona, p. 372 ; Eomsee, p. 334). 
Some writers, from not having borne this carefully in mind, 
have fallen into the strange blunder of saying that in 
ancient times the blessing used to be given before the "Ite 
missa est." If by lefore they mean, in this case, what used 
to take place at the " Pax," they are right ; but as they can- 
not mean this, their mistake is a great one. This error 
arose from the fact that the prayer now called the " Post- 

390 TJie Celebration of Mass. 

Communion " used to be anciently called the " Benedictio," 
inasmuch as it was said to invoke a blessing on all who had 
communicated that day. No particular ceremonies attended 
its recital, and no blessing was imparted before or after it. 
Strabo makes this very clear when he says : "It was decreed 
by the Council of Orleans that the people should not go 
.away from Mass before the blessing of the priest, by which 
blessing is understood the last prayer that the priest re- 
cites" (Bona, p. 372). 

When the custom of blessing the people at the end of 
Mass was introduced every priest blessed with a triple cross, 
as bishops do now ; and this continued to be the rule until 
the sixteenth century, when it was abrogated by Pope Pius 
V., yet so as not to abolish it altogether, for he allowed it at 
Solemn High Mass. Pope Clement VIII. , however, entirely 
restricted the triple form to bishops, and ordained that 
priests should bless only with a single cross (Eomsee, 
p. 336). The old custom of not blessing the people at all is 
yet kept up in Masses for the dead. In the old law it was 
customary, too, to pronounce a blessing over the people 
before they were dismissed. This was generally worded as 
follows : " May the Lord bless thee and keep thee ; may the 
Lord show thee his face and have pity on thee ; may the 
Lord turn his countenance to thee and grant thee peace " 
(Bona, p. 373 ; Reasons of the Law of Moses, by Maimon- 
ides, notes, p. 402). The Jews even at the present day are 
dismissed from their synagogues with this blessing, which 
they all look upon with the greatest reverence. According 
to many liturgical scholars of note, the triple blessing now 
peculiar to bishops is founded on the three divisions made 
of this ancient mode of blessing in use with the Jews, 
which, as we see, is taken from the Book of Numbers, vi. 
24-26 (Bona, ibid.) When the priests of the Carmelite 
Rite have given the last blessing they kneel down on the 

The Gospel of St John. 391 

upper step of the altar and recite aloud the ' ' Salve Regina," 
or "Regina Cceli" if it be Faschal time. 


After the priest has imparted his blessing he turns to the 
Gospel corner of the altar, and there, standing with his face 
a little turned towards the people, as at the first Gospel, 
reads the "In principio," or Gospel of St. John. He 
kneels so as to touch the ground at the words "et Verbum 
caro factum est" — "And the Word was made flesh" — to 
remind us of the profound humility of our Lord in becom- 
ing man for our sake. 

At the end of the Gospel the server answers, "Deo 
gratias," and the Mass is ended. The priest then takes the 
chalice with him into the sacristy, and, having unrobed 
himself, remains some moments in acts of thanksgiving and 

History of the Gospel of St. John. — From the surpassing 
sublimity of this Gospel many ancient philosophers used to 
say that it ought to be written in letters of gold and con- 
spicuously hung up in every church, in order that all might 
be able to see it (Bona, p. 373). From the remotest days of 
Christianity it has been held in the deepest veneration by all 
classes of people, and many pious Catholics now, as well as 
of old, carry their reverence for it so far as to wear it on 
their persons. But it has not been always a part of the 
Mass. Up to the time of Pope Pius V. a priest could say it 
or omit it, just as he pleased, for it was then only a private 
prayer, just like the " Benedicite." This holy Pontiff, how- 
ever, finding how very much attached the people were to it, 
inserted it in the missal which was drawn up by his orders, 
and so made its recital obligatory on all, with certain special 
exceptions. The bishop does not recite it at the altar in 
Solemn High Mass, but only on the way back to his throne, 

392 The Antidoron. 

and it is never recited by the Carthusians, Cistercians, the 
monks of Monte Casino, or those of Cluny. At Lyons it 
is recited by the priest on his way back from the altar, and 
at Clermont it is said at the sacristy door (Romsee, p. 341). 
It has no place in the Mass of the Orientals, nor is it cus- 
tomary to say it in the Pope's Chapel at Rome. 


For the reason that many Protestants who travel in the 
East are fond of saying when they come home that the Ori- 
entals allowed them to partake of the " consecrated wafer," 
meaning Holy Communion, we do not think that our work 
would be complete if we failed to expose this deception. 
From time immemorial it has been customary all through 
the East to bless, before regular Mass begins, a large quan- 
tity of bread at one of the side altars, and keep it for distri- 
bution, after service is over, among all who, for some legiti- 
mate reason, could not approach regular Communion on. 
that day. From the fact that it was given as a sort of sub- 
stitute for ordinary Communion it used to be called the 
Antidoron — that is, something in lieu of the Doron, or gift, 
as the Holy Eucharist was generally styled ; and all could re- 
ceive it at pleasure. Its use is still kept up in the East, 
and at one time it was also employed in the Western 
Church. The French call it pain henit. This is the true 
account of what Protestant tourists are pleased to call the 
" consecrated wafer " of the Oriental Church, and which 
they often boast of having received. To them it certainly 
ought to be something sacred, for it is, to say the least of it, 
Messed, and therefore far superior to any bread that they 
have in their service ; for the power of blessing resides not in 
their ministers, but is enjoyed by those of the East, not- 
withstanding that they may be heretical and schismatical at 
the same time. 



Augustine, Saint, City of God. 

Bona, Cardinal, Rer. Liturg. Antwerp, 1739. 

" " Divina Psalmodia. 

Benedict XIV., Pope, Be Sacrosanct. Missce Sacrif. et Mi- 

Bouvry, Expositio Rubricarum Missalis et Ritualis. 

" " " Breviarii. 

Bannister, Temples of the Hebrews. London, 1861. 
Burder, Religious Ceremonies and Customs. London, 1841. 
Badger, The Nestorians and their Rituals. London, 1852. 
Brerewood, Enquiries on the Diversity of Languages and 

Religions. 1674. 
Bingham, Antiquities of the Christian Church. 
Barry, The Sacramentals. 
Breviary, Syriac Maronite. Rome, 1863. 
Catalanus, Comment, in Pontifical. Romanum. 
Cceremoniale Episcoporum. 

Prmdicatorum seu Dominicanorum. 
" Carthusianorum. 

" Carmelitarum. 

Ceremonial of the Papal Chapel. 


394 A List of the Principal Authors Consulted. 

Denzinger, Ritus Orientalium. 

Durandus, Rationale Divinorum Offic. Naples, 1859. 

De Herdt, Praxis Pontificalis. 3 vols. 

" Sacr. Liturg. Praxis. 3 vols. 
De Conny, Les Ceremonies de VEglise. 

" Recherches sur V Abolition de la Liturg. Ant. dans 
VEglise de Lyon. 
De Montor, Lives of the Popes. 
De Carpo, Cmremoniale juxta Ritum Romanum, 
Ferraris, Bibliotheca. 

Goar, Euchologium Grcecorum. Paris, 1647. 
Gavantus and Merati, Thesaur. Sacr. Rit. Missalis. Venice, 

" " Thesaur. Sacr. Rit. Breviarii. 1749. 

Gagarin, The Russian Clergy. 
Hefele, History of the Christian Councils. 
Hemans, Catholic Italy. 2 vols. Florence, 1862. 
Holy Days of the English Church. 
Innocent III., Pope, De Sacro Altaris Mysterio. 
Kozma, Liturgia Sacra Catholica. 
Lobera, El Porque de todas las Ceremonias de la Iglesia. 

Liturgia Mozaraoica. 
Lingard, History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon 

Lamy, De Fide Syrorum et Disciplina in re Eucharistica. 
Le Bran, Explication de la Messe. 2 vols. 
Merati and Gavantus, Thesaur. Sacr. Rituum. 
Martinucci, Manuale Sacr. Cwremoniarum. 4 vols. 
Maimonides, Reasons of the Laws of Moses. 
Maringola, Institutiones Liturgical. 2 vols. 
Manuale Decretorum (up to 1866). 
Moran, Origin, Doctrine, and Discipline of the Early Irish 


A List of the Principal Authors Consulted. 395 

Morinus, De Sacris Ecclesim Ordinationibus. 

Miihlbauer, Comment, in Pontif. Romanum. 

Marine, De Antiquis Ecclesim Ritibus. Venice, 1783. 

Neale, Holy Eastern Church, General Introduction. 2 vols. 
" Hymns of the Eastern Church. 

Neale and Littledale, Primitive Liturgies. 

Northcote, The Roman Catacombs. 

Newman, Tracts, Ecclesiastical and Theological. London, 

Poetm Christians. 

Pococke, Travels in Egypt, etc. 

Pleyer, De Sacrosancto Missa Sacrificio. 

Pope, Holy Week in the Vatican. 

Palm a, Hist or ia Ecclesiastica. 

Riddle, Christian Antiquities. 

Romanoff, Rites and Customs of the Greco-Russian Church. 

Renaudot, Liturgiarum Orientalium Collectio. 2 vols. 

Romsee, Sensus Lit. Moralis ac Histor. Rit. ac Ccer. Missce. 

Rock, Church of our Fathers. 4 vols. 

" Hierurgia. 
Schild, Manuale Liturgicum. 
Semita Sanctorum. 

Selvaggio, Institutiones Christianorum Antiquorum. 2 vols. 
Smith and D wight, Researches in Armenia. 2 vols. 
ToDdini, The Pope of Rome and the Eastern Popes. 
Vetromile, Travels in Europe and the Holy Land. 


(The numbers refer to the pages.) 

Abaneth — name given by Moses to the cincture, 41. 

Ablution — ablution of the hands, 178; of the chalice, 370; how often a 
bishop washes his hands when celebrating, 179; ancient practice 
in this respect, 179. 

Abouna — origin of the word — an Abyssinian prelate, 28. 

Abyssinians — how governed in spirituals — present orthodox population 
— number of the schismatics — their spiritual head— their ordina- 
tions doubtful as to validity— celebrate Mass in the ancient 
Ethiopic — its two dialects — why sometimes called the Chaldaic— 
their singular devotion to the Mother of God, 28, 29; theit 
strange tradition regarding the Ark of the Covenant — keep the 
Holy Eucharist in it — prayers and ceremonies used in blessing 
it, 89. 

Adar— last month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, 217. 

Adrian II., Pope, gives permission to have Mass said in the Sclavonic 
language, 24, 25. 

Agnus Dei, 381 ; who introduced it into the Mass — its triple repetition, 
362; apparition of the Mother of God regarding the " dona nobis 
pacem," 3G3. 

Alb — why so called, 36; antiquity of its use — formerly made of silk — its 
ornamentation — the alb presented to St. Peter's at Rome by the 
father of Alfred the Great — silken albs for Holy Thursday and 
Holy Saturday— those of cloth-of-gold worn by the monks of 
Cluny — albs of green, blue, and red in the Monastery of Peter- 
borough — one of a black color used on Good Friday — figurative 
meaning, 37; Alb of the Greeks — its material, 38; prayer said by 
the Russian priests in donning it, 39. 

Alleluia — its derivation and meaning — how esteemed by the early Chris- 
tians, 221; what St. .Anselm said about its celestial origin — when 
omitted in the Mass, and why, 222. 

*' Alma Redemptoris "—its author — see Hermannus Contractus, 


398 General Index. 

Altar— its derivation — dimensions — material — the one used at the Last 
Supper, 113 ; wooden altars of St. Peter yet preserved at Rome — 
inscription upon one of them — the first Pope who made stone 
altars obligatory— altars of gold, silver, and precious stones, 114; 
silver altars presented to St. John Lateran by Constantine the 
Great — altar of gold and gems bestowed by the Empress Pul- 
cheria — the marvellous altar of the Church of Holy Wisdom 
(Sancta Sophia) at Constantinople — inscription upon its front, 
115 ; tombs of the martyrs used as altars — why called ' ' Memo- 
ria," "Confessio," etc., 121; symbolism of altars, 116; altars of 
the Oriental Church, 117; altar coverings, 117. 

Altar cards — how many required by the rubrics, 119, 120. 

Ambo — its use in ancient times — origin of the name — more than one 
used in some churches — materials of which made, 219; devices 
used upon them — where they are yet employed, 220. 

Ambrosian Liturgy — its full history and peculiarities, 110, 111. 

Amen — its meaning — antiquity of its use — same in every language, 214; 
not answered at the end of the " Canon" on Easter Sunday 
when the Pope is the celebrant, why, 356. 

Amharic — see Ethiopic or Abyssinian. 

Amice— origin of the name — its various appellations — not in use with 
the Greeks — custom in regard to it with the Ambrosians and 
Maronites — what the Armenians call it — description of theirs — its 
early history, and the office it formerly served — how long this 
continued — practice of the Capuchins and Dominicans regarding 
the manner of wearing it — its mystical meaning, 35, 36. 

Angel, a coin — why so called, 273. 

Antidoron — its derivation— what it means — how Protestants travelling 
in the East mistake it frequently for the Blessed Eucharist— what 
the French call it, 392, 393. 

Antimens— what they are— their use by the Orientals— how consecrated, 
117, 118. 

Antipendium— when used, and why so called — its color, etc., 113. 

Apse — see frontispiece. 

Aquarians— why so called— their heresy — what thpy offered in the 
chalice, 165. 

Arabic— the pure Arabic of the Koran a dead language — liturgical 
language of all the Mahometans, 32; the vernacular of the Maro- 
nites, Copts, etc. — the Gospel of the Mass read in it after it has 
first been read in the liturgical language, 23, 30. 

Arabs — divided into three special classes — names and meaning of each 

class, 109. 
Archimandrite— origin and application of the word, 7U 

General Index, 399 

Ariua — his personal appearance — his real error — condemned at the 
General Council of Nicaea in a.d. 325, 253. 

Ark of the Covenant, 80 ; strange tradition of the Abyssinians concern- 
ing it, 88. 

Armenians — use unleavened bread in the Holy Eucharist — liturgical 
language — patriarch — residence — their great monastery of San 
Lazaro— do not mix water with the wine in the chalice, and why, 
25, 26. 

Artophorion — name of the receptacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is 
reserved by the Greeks — where situated, 88. 

"Aufer a nobis" — when said — meaning and reference of the expression 
Holy of Holies, 190; antiquity of the prayer, 191. 

Bali language — its relation to the Sanscrit — though now a dead language, 
yet is used by the natives of Ceylon, Bali, Madura, and Java in 
their religious service — language of Lamaism, 82. 

Baradai, James — one of the reformers of Eutychianism — the Jacobites, 
or Monophy 'sites, of Syria, so called from him, 26. 

Beca — one of the ancient insignia of the doctorate — what it is — its color, 
etc., 55. 

Bells — their use in divine service — mentioned in the old law — large 
ones described in the Mishna, 146 ; the first who introduced them 
into the Christian Church — why called campcmce, why Twice — 
ancient substitute for bells, 147; different kinds of semantrons— 
why the Mahometans prohibit bells to be rung in their dominions, 
147; concessions in this respect to the Christians of the Ea?i — 
bells of the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem — the 
Syrians ascribe their invention to Noe — their explanation of this, 
148; bells of the Nestorians, Armenians, and Abyssinians — when 
first introduced into the Eastern Church, and by whom, 149, 150; 
Cretan ballad regarding their ringing — those used in the Russian 
Church — the great monster bell of Moscow, 150; serves now as a 
chapel, 151 ; bells silent the last days of Holy Week, and why, 
152; names and dimensions of the largest bells in the world, 151. 

Benedict XIV., Pope — how he used to say Mass sitting down during his 
last sickness, 212. 

Berretta— -clerical cap — origin of the word — shape of berretta, 52; its 
primitive form — date of its introduction as an article of clerical 
attire — what its corners symbolize — its color — who may wear a 
red one — description of a Cardinal's — that worn by doctors of 
divinity — when it may be employed — ceremonies employed in 
conferring it, 53 ; the oath taken — names of the institutions in the 
United States which have the privilege of conferring it — when 

400 General Index. 

cardinals first received permission to wear a red one, 54, 55; 
what the red color is intended to call to mind — substitute worn by 
the Pope for a berretta — its material— description — when doffed— 
number of corners worn to the berretta by the clergy of France, 
Spain, and Germany — ornamental one of the French universities 
for a doctor of divinity, for a canon — singular privilege granted 
by the Holy See to the Catholic missionaries of China regarding 
the use of the berretta at Mass, 56; berretta of the Orientals, 5C, 
57; the kind worn by the schismatical Patriarch of Alexandria, 
who never doffs it during Mass— this right also arrogated by the 
Patriarch of the Nestorians— the one used by the Copts, 57. 

Bible— how the ancient Hebrews divided it, 217. 

Bishop — why he vests at the altar, 180 ; the Greek bishops wear no mitre 
like ours, 57; his blessing, 361. 

" Black Clergy " — why so called by the Russians, 56. 

Blessed Eucharist — brought home during the days of persecution — 
brought on journeys sometimes, 377; given to children— buried 
with the dead, 378; why this practice was discontinued— miracle 
recorded, 379; ceremonies observed when given by the bishop, 
379, 380; respect shown to it by the Church, 380; the great reve- 
rence shown it all through Spain, 381 ; inserted formerly in the 
altar instead of relics. See Relics, also Holy Communion, for fur- 
ther particulars. 

Blessed Virgin — how represented in mediseval art, 6 ; a letter supposed 
to be written by her inserted as a relic in the Cathedral of Mes- 
sina, 124. 

Blessing of nuptials, according to the Rite of York, 6; see also Bridal 

Book — see Missal. 

Borromeo, St. Charles— chosen by the Council of Trent as one of the 
committee to examine church music, 99. 

Bread used at Mass — leavened and unleavened — how baked, 153, 155; 
devices used on the irons — the various interpretations of " I H S K 
— its true meaning, 155, 156; breads, by whom made— story of St. 
"Wenceslaus, Duke of Bohemia, 157; size of the bread — form- 
breads of the Oriental Church, 158; ceremonies attending their 
making, 159 ; how strict the Oriental canons are on this head, 
160; bread used by the Greeks — ceremonies attending its prepara- 
tion at the Prothesis— meaning of its quadrangular shape — in- 
scription stamped upon it, 161, 162, 164; inscription of the Coptic 
bread — history of the Trisagion, 162, 163. 

Breaking of the Host— explanation and history of this rite — into how 
many parts it is broken by the Mozarabics — their different names, 

General Index. 401 

358, 359; the breaking of the Host in the Eastern Church, 359, 

Burse — its material and use, 85. 

Cabala — what the word means with the rabbins, 188. 

Caliph— origin and application of the word, 41. 

Calotte — see Zucchetto. 

Canon — origin of the word — its various applications, 295; care taken 
by the Church of this part of the Mass — instances of her unwill- 
ingness to change any part of it. 296 ; its great antiquity — names 
given it by the early Fathers — where it anciently began, 297; why 
read in secret — singular story upon this head related in the 
Spiritual Meadow of John Moschus — a precedent for this silence 
—what the Mishna says about it, 298, 299 ; picture at the begin- 
ning of the Canon — ancient customs, 300. 

Canonical fingers — why the thumb and index-finger are so called, 280; 
how the priest joins these fingers after the consecration of the 
Host — the reason of this practice, 329. 

Cap, clerical — see Berretta. 

Cardinal's berretta— full history of it, 53, 54. 

Cardinal's red hat — date of its introduction — to whom first granted, 55. 

Cardinal Vitelozzi — chosen by the Council of Trent as one of the com* 
mittee to examine church music, 99. 

" Care-cloth M — what it was used for, and when, 6. 

Carmelites — by whom founded, 61; their history and the manner in 
which they say Mass, 106, 107. 

Carthusians — why so called — who founded them, 61 ; the peculiarities of 
their manner of celebrating Mass — other privileges enjoyed by 
them, 104, 105. 

Cassock — ancient name — material, 60; color — the kind given by the 
University of Paris to doctors of theology and canon law — who 
empowered them to do this, 61 ; Oxford said to enjoy the same 
privilege — cassocks with pendants to them — meaning of this cus- 
tom — color and material of the cassock worn by our Holy Father 
the Pope — antiquity of this practice, 62. 

Catacomb — what the Catacombs are — origin of the word, 70. 

Catechumen — origin of the word — its application — how many classes of 
catechumens in the early Church — where their Mass began and 
ended — their expulsion from the church, 2, 247, 248. 

Cenacle of Sion — account of it — indulgences granted to all who visit it 
with the proper dispositions, 18. 

Ceremony — origin of the word, 3. 

Chaldaic language — has eighteen alphabets — by whom used in the Mast 
•-how the word is used in the East, 24, 

402 General Index. 

Chalice— its present form— why made formerly in shape of an apple- 
chalice used by our Lord at the Last Supper, 69, 70; material of 
the chalice— chalices of pewter— why those of brass, glass, and 
wood forbidden— glass chalices used in the very early days, 70, 71; 
also those made of wood— what St. Boniface said when questioned 
upon this head— wooden chalices interdicted by the canons of 
King Edgar of England— chalices of marble, 71; of precious 
stones— of horn and ivory— those of horn prohibited by the Synod 
of Calcuith— decree of the Council of Rheims regarding their ma- 
terial—ornamentation of chalices formerly— the various devices 
employed in them, 72 ; ministerial chalices, 72 ; to whose charge 
entrusted— offertorial chalice— baptismal chalices— chalices with 
tubes or reeds attached— how adjusted, 73, 74; vestige of this 
custom yet in Papal High Mass, 74; chalices of the Orientals— 
those used by the Copts— why their consecration is not generally 
observed in the East, 75 ; miracles recorded on this head— form 
and ceremonies of the consecration of a chalice according to the 
Coptic Ritual— always consecrated in the Latin Church— opinion 
of Diana upon the necessity of this, 76. 
•' Charter-House Monks "—see Carthusians. 

Chasuble— why so called— ancient form— material— when the present 
kind came into use— how introduced — upon what authority, 49, 
50; chasuble of the Orientals— the one used by the Maronites— 
Coptic chasuble— chasuble worn by the Greeks— that in use 
among the bishops of Russia— Nestorian chasubles, 51 ; that used 
by the Hungarian Greeks— its name among the Syrians— what 
called in ancient Latin— how named by the Greeks, 52; St. Pe- 
ter's, 21. 
Chorepiscopus, 175. 

Christians, ancient— how they assisted at Mass, 211. 
Christmas day— mystical meaning of its three Masses— who instituted 

them, 169. 
Ciborium— why so called— when used — its ancient meaning, 77. 
Cincture— antiquity of its use— its various names- -ancient form, materi- 
al, color, etc., 39; the one found at the ruins of Durham— men- 
tioned in Holy Scripture, 40; description of the Aaronic cincture 
as given by Josephus, 41 ; that worn by our Lord yet preserved 
at Aix-la-Chapelle— when exposed for veneration— our Blessed 
Lady's kept at Prato, in Tuscany, 42; cincture of the Orientals— 
what the Mahometan rulers of Egypt used to enact regarding its 
daily use by the Christians of that country— name given it by 
Moses, 41; cincture of the Russian priests— moral signification, 
41, 42. 

General Index. 403 

Clergy— origin of the word, 32. 

Coeur de Lion— Richard I., King of England— his zeal in leading the 
choir at Mass, 101. 

Collar, Roman — when introduced — custom regarding its use among the 
religious orders generally — its ancient form— laws relating to it 
passed in France, Belgium, and Italy, 59 ; how it varies in color 
with the rank of the wearer — the kind worn by cardinals — by 
bishops — by monsignores — by canons, 60. 

Collects — number generally said— why so called, 213; collects of the 
Orientals, 214. 

Cologne — history of its great cathedral — possesses the skulls of the Magi 
— how preserved, 282. 

Comb— when used in the Mass— full history of it, 286, 287. 

" Communicantes " — how our Blessed Lady is here styled — how styled in 
the Oriental liturgies, 310, 311 ; brief history of the saints herein 
mentioned, 312 to 321; why none but martyrs are mentioned, 
312 ; why SS. Mark and Luke are not named, 321. 

" Communio " — how this prayer was designated in ancient times, 386. 

Communion — see Holy Communion. 

Concelebration — what it means — how long practised in the Latin Church 
— what Pope Innocent III. says concerning it — vestiges of it 
remain unto this day, 173; questions started concerning it, 174; 
the Orientals practise it yet, 175. 

Confession — see Confiteor. 

Confiteor — its antiquity — when reduced to its present form — the Con- 
fiteor of the Sarum Rite, how worded — form used by the Domini- 
cans, 187; why the priest strikes his breast three times when 
saying it — ancient precedents for this practice — confession in the 
old law, 188; form of wording — nothing can be added to the 
Confiteor without the permission of the Holy See — what orders 
have the privilege of adding the name of their founder — con* 
fession in the Oriental Church — its form with the Maronites, 

Consecration — explanation of both forms, with comments on the words 
of the narration and those of institution, 324 to 330; strange 
opinion of Ambrosius Catharinus about " benedixit " — what hap- 
pened, according to his views, when our Lord pronounced the bless- 
ing in each case — views upon this head of St. Thomas Aquinas and 
St. Augustine, 327. 328 ; what Fromondus says — into how many 
parts our Lord broke the bread on this occasion, 328 ; custom of 
the Eastern and Western Church in this respect, 329 ; consecra- 
tion of the chalice — full explanation of all the ceremonies and 
actions — comments on the form and on its different clauses, 830, 

404 General Index. 

331; consecration in the Oriental Church— words pronounced 
aloud — people answer, 333, 334. 

Constantinopolitan Creed — see Symbol. 

Coptic language — its connection with the ancient Egyptian — who say- 
Mass in it — origin of the word Copt — liturgies used by this peo- 
ple, 26, 27. 

Corporal — why so called— its material and size— decree of Pope Silves- 
ter concerning its material, 83; of the Council of Rheims also, 83, 
84; who first prescribed linen corporals, and why — corporals of the 
Orientals, 84. 

"Corpus Christi" — full account of the institution of this feast— the 
author of its Mass and office, 78. 

Council of Trent — what it enacted concerning Private Masses, 8. 

Creed — see Symbol. 

Cross— ancient customs regarding the manner of making it, 181 ; how 
the Spanish peasantry make it— the various ways of holding the 
fingers while making it in former times, 182 ; custom of the 
Orientals in this respect, 182, 183; singular way in which the 
fingers are disposed by the Greeks— meaning of this practice, 183; 
formula used by the Maronites in making it, 184; different kinds 
of crosses, 126, 127; triple cross a misconception — history of the 
double cross, or that generally called the Archiepiscopal, 127 ; the 
two prelates who have a special right to carry a double cross 
to-day — Jansenistic crosses — why so called — how formed, 128 ; 
crosses after consecration, what they mean, 338, 339 ; made also 
by the Orientals at this part, 339. 

Cunegunda, St.— her trial for suspected adultery by the so-called Mass 
of Judgment — her innocence, 16. 

Cuthbert, St.— how he wept when chanting the Preface, 97. 

Dagon— false god— falls to the ground before the Ark of the Covenant, 80. 

" Deo gratias "— when said— custom of the ancient Christians regarding 
it, 218. 

De Vert— his great work on the ceremonies of the Church— his singular 
views regarding the literal meaning of the ceremonies of the Mass, 

Diana— his opinion regarding the necessity of consecrating the chalice 

before using it at Mass, 76. 
" Die verbo "—why used instead of " Die verbum " in the form of Com- 
munion, 367. 
" Dies Irse "—its history, author, and merits— see Sequences. 

Dikerion, 183. 

Diptychs — why so called — dissertation on them, 307 to 309; their use 
in the Oriental Church, 309. 

General Index. 405 

Discipline of the Secret — what it was and how long it prevailed in the 
Eastern and Western Church — what came under it, 1. See also 

Doctorate — its insignia, 53; doctor's cap— ceremonies gone through in 
conferring it — the oath taken — what institutions in the United 
States have the right to confer the degree and its insignia, 53, 54; 
custom of Salamanca, 55. 

Dominicans — their history and manner of saying Mass, 107, 108. 

1 Dominus vobiscum" — whence taken — different forms of salutation 
among the ancient Hebrews — how careful they were to have God's 
name or some of his peculiar prerogatives mixed up in each, 208; 
how the Oriental priests salute the people at Mass, 209; how- 
bishops salute after the " Gloria in excelsis " — see Paxvobis. 

Duns Scotus — his analysis of the Creed, 250. 

Easter Sunday — how regulated so as not to be celebrated with the Jew- 
ish Passover, 326. 

Eckius — his erroneous notions about the language in which Mass was 
first celebrated, 20. 

Elevation — when it took place formerly— origin and cause of the present 
discipline in this respect, 332, 333; elevation in the Oriental 
Church — impressive demonstrations of the Orientals at this part 
of the Mass, 335 ; beautiful profession of faith in the Real Pre- 
sence made on this occasion by the Copts, 336 ; additional parti* 
culars, 337, 338. 

Ely — description of its ancient cathedral, 167. 

Embolismus — addition to the " Pater noster " — see Pater nosier. 

Ephesus — general council held here in 431 — Nestorius condemned, 24. 

Ephod, 35. 

Epimanikia — maniples of the Orientals — their description and history 
— their material — how those worn by the bishops of the Eastern 
Church have images or icons upon them — what they are called by 
the Syrians — by the Armenians — by the Russians, 45. 

Epistle — manner of reading it — mystic meaning of, 215. 

Epitrachelion — Oriental stole, 48. 

Esdras— one of the Introits taken from the apocryphal Fourth Book, 198. 

Estrangelo — origin of the word, and comments upon it, 24. 

Ethiopic canon — meaning of, 29. 

Eucharist — how reserved in ancient times — how reserved now — manner 
of reserving it in the Oriental Church — Coptic custom, 87, 88, 89. 

Evangelists — how symbolized in art, and why, 294. 

" Exultet " — author of this anthem — its music, etc., 96. 

Faithful — how summoned to church during the days of persecution, 151. 

Pasting days in the Eastern Church— how rigidly they keep Lent, 171, 

406 General Index. 

" Filioque " — who first inserted it in the Creed — why — when this wag 
supposed to have been done — what Charlemagne did about it— 
what Pope Leo III. said to the emperor's legates — what the Holy 
Father did to preserve the Creed inviolate — to whom the authori- 
tative insertion of the clause is ascribed — the Greek Catholics are 
not required to insert it now, even in the hearing of the Pope, 258 
to 263. See also Symbol. 

First Sunday of Advent — how regulated, 139. 

Gallic Rite, 112. 

* Gaudete Sunday " — why so called — what color cardinals wear on this 
day at Mass and out of Mass, 65. 

Gemara — commentary on the Jewish Mishna, 146. 

" Gloria in excelsis " — its author, 205; discipline of the early Church re- 
garding it, 205, 206. 

"Gloria Patri," etc. — how said in ancient times — what additions the 
Council of Nicasa made in it, 185, 186. 

God Almighty — known to the Hebrews under ten different names- 
meaning of each name, 222. 

Golden Rose — upon what occasion it is exhibited by the Pope — its full 
history, meaning, blessing, and to whom generally given, 65. 

Gospel — ceremonies employed in reading it — why read sideways — the 
meaning of the crosses made, 233 ; why all stand up — what mili- 
tary knights are accustomed to do here — kissing the Gospel, cere- 
mony of, 234; Gospel at Solemn High Mass, 235; ceremonies 
attending its chanting, and their meaning — full explanation, 236, 
237; respect shown to the Gospel in ancient times — how the sacred 
volume used to be bound, 238 ; Gospel in the Oriental Church- 
ceremonies attending its reading, 239. 

Gospel of St. John, 391 ; how reverenced in ancient times — what the pri- 
mitive Christians used to do with it — encomiums passed upon it 
by pagan philosophers — when it became obligatory in the Mass, 

Gottes- Acker — meaning of this expression, and full history of how ten 
derly the primitive Christians spoke of the faithful departed, 
344, 345. 

Gradual — why so called, 221. 

Grand Lama — how surrounded by lights, 135. 

Gregorian Chant — see Music. 

Gregorian Style — how Easter Sunday is determined by this mode, 326. 

Gregory the Great, Pope — his reliquary, 47 ; what he did for chun* 
music — see Music. 

Gudule's, St. — Golden Mass said there, 7. 

Hagiographa — the books that were included under this name, 217. 

General Index. 407 

"Hancigitur"— how this prayer is recited, and why—its author— how 
recited formerly, and how the Carmelites now recite it— how old 
the present custom of reciting it is, 322. 

Hebrew words retained in the Mass, 203. 

Hegumenos— his position in the Oriental Church, 71. 

Heliodorus— attempts to rob the Temple of Jerusalem— he is frightfully 
punished, 80, 81. 

Heretic — origin and theological application of the word, 303. 

Hermannus Contractus— apparition of the Mother of God enjoyed by him 
—his writings and history, 224, 225. 

Hindoos — allow none but the Brahmins to read the Veda — read in a dead 
language, 32. 

" Holiness to Jehovah " — inscription used on the golden plate of the 
high-priest, 42. 

Holy Blood — relic of it sent from Jerusalem to Henry HI. of England, 
and preserved for some time in St. Paul's, London, 64. 

Holy Communion — Communion of the priest, 366 to 368; of the peo- 
ple, 369, 370; in ancient times, 371, 372; under both kinds, 373; 
when this practice was discontinued, and why — exceptions made 
in certain cases, 374; order of receiving in ancient times — mannei 
of receiving, 375 ; Holy Communion in the Eastern Church, 381, 
382 ; how distributed — extraordinary care of the Orientals regard- 
ing its distribution— how administered to the laity, 383, 384 — Com- 
munion under one kind in the East, 385. See also Blessed Ew 

Holy Fan — its use in the Mass in the early days — to whom assigned^, 
workmanship of these fans, 284 ; their full history in the Western 
Church — fans of the Oriental Church — the kind in use with the 
Maronites — the Greek fans, 285. 

•'Holy God, Holy Strong One," etc.— the Trisagion, 162, 163, 293. 

" Holy Lamb "—what the Greeks mean by it, 161. 

Holy of Holies, 190. 

Holy Viaticum — Coptic custom regarding it, 11, 12 ; how carried to the 
sick, 90; Oriental usage regarding it — given in the East only 
under one kind — demonstrations made on the way before it — cua- 
tom of the Syro-Jacobites, 90, 91; how the Spaniards act when 
they see it passing by, 381. See also Blessed Eucharist and Holy 

Holy Wisdom — church of this name built at Constantinople by Justinian 
—history of it, 115 ; its marvellous altar — see Altar. 

Homoousios — history of this celebrated word — what the Fathers of Nicsea 
meant by it— how Arius refused to accept it — its insertion in the 
Creed, 258, 254. 

408 General Index. 

Host, saci rd— dancing before it at Seville, 381. 

11 House of the Dove "—church so called— why, 87. 
<IHS " — the various interpretations given it from time to time — its truu 
meaning, 155, 156. 

Incense— antiquity of its use in divine service— when employed now— 
the Maronites use it at Low Mass— its several spiritual significa- 
tions — why used at the obsequies of the dead — its use with the 
Orientals, 92 to 94. 

Introit— why so called— how recited— its name with the Ambrosians, 
Mozarabics, Carthusians, and Carmelites — who introduced it into 
the Mass, 195 : who it was that arranged the present order of In- 
troits, and according to what plan — the version of the New Tes- 
tament employed on this occasion— difference in wording between 
the psalms of the Mass and those of the Divine Office— how ac- 
counted for— whence they are taken, 196; history of that which 
is taken from the apocryphal book of Esdras, 197; scope of the 
Introits— their mystical meaning, 198 ; Introits of the Eastern 
Church, and ceremonies attending them, 200. 

Islam — origin and application of the word, 32. 

" Ite Missa est " — various interpretations of the phrase— how it ought to 
be translated, 388, 389 — end of Mass in ancient times, 390. 

Jami — a Mahometan temple of worship— difference between it and a 
mosque, 183. 

Jansenistic crosses — see Crosses. 

Jews — w hy obliged in some countries to wear a yellow badge — how 
Judas was represented in mediaeval art, 64. 

John of Mount Cornelio— his Office of Corpus Christi suppressed, 78. 

John VIII., Pope— his confirmation of the privilege of saying Mass in 
Sclavonic — upon what conditions, 25. 

Jubilation — see Sequence. 

Judas— why painted by all the ancient and mediaeval artists with yellow 
hair, 64. 

Julian the Apostate— sends his men to plunder the " Golden " Church at 
Antioch — frightful example made of them, 81, 82. 

Juliana, Blessed — her vision of the Blessed Sacrament—what it led to— -f 
full history of everything concerning the feast, 78. 

Kalkasendas — his account of the rising of the Nile, 214. 

Kiss of peace — see Pax. 

Knights of St. John — their several names and history, 234. 

Koran— why so called— its language— how the Mahometans try to prove 
its miraculous nature — its construction — by whom the false pro- 
phet was aided in composing it, 31. 

Kremlin — origin of the word— what the Kremlin is, 150. 

General Index. 409 

Kyrie eleison — its ancient name — why said nine times — who introduced 
it into the Mass, 201; ancient customs regarding its recital— at 
how many different parts of the Mass the Ambrosians recite it — 
why said in Greek, 202 ; Oriental usage regarding its recital, 204. 

" Lady Mary " — title given by the Abyssinians to the Blessed Virgin, 28. 

Laetare Sunday — why so called — color of cardinal's dress on this day at 
Mass and out of Mass— full account of the blessing of the Golden 
Rose, 65. 

Lamaism — language of, 32. 

Languages in which Mass is celebrated to-day — brief account of each, 
and of the people who employ them, 21. 

" Lauda Sion " — its author and history — see Sequence. 

Leabhar Breac — its date, 65. 

Legends regarding the Blessed Sacrament and the Feast of Corpus 
Christi, 78, 79. 

Lent in the Eastern Church — see Fasting days. 

Lights — antiquity of their use at Mass, 21 ; full history of them, 182, 
133, 134. 

Liturgy of St. Basil — when used in the East — see Dissertation. 

Liturgy of St. Chrysostom — when used — see Dissertation. 

Liturgy of St. James, 204; see also Dissertation. 

Lyonese Rite, 112. 

Maniple — its material — form — ancient names — primitive use, 43; how 
long it served this purpose — little bells often attached to it for- 
merly, 44; maniple of the Orientals, 45. 

Maronites — origin of the name — say Mass in Syriac — how governed — 
number of their clergy, secular and regular, 23, 24, 184. 

Marriage of the Oriental clergy, 22. 

Mass — why so called — not from Massah, Myesis, Mes, or Messe — not 
connected with the affix in Christmas, Childermas, Michaelmas, 
etc., 1; Mass of the Catechumens and Mass of the Faithful — 
meaning of these appellations— different names by which the 
Mass was anciently known, 2; explanation of each, 3; Solorr»n 
High Mass — Simple High Mass — Low Mass — Conventual Mass — 
Bridal Mass, 4; Golden Mass — Private Mass, 7; Dry Mass, 10; 
Evening and Midnight Mass, 11, 12 ; Mass of the Presanctificd, 
12; Solitary Mass, 8; Votive Mass, 9; Dry Mass, 10; Mass of 
Requiem — Mass of Judgment, 14; Bridal Mass according to the 
Sarum Rite, 5 ; number of Masses that a priest may say on the 
same day — ancient discipline in this respect — how many Pope 
Leo III. is said to have celebrated in one day, 168 — Masses of 
Christmas day — of other privileged days — concession to the 
Spaniards in case of the Masses said on the commemoration of 

410 General Index, 

the faithful departed, commonly called All Souls' day, 16& 
when Mass cannot be celebrated, and why — reason given by St. 
Thomas Aquinas — the custom of the priests of the Ambrosian 
Rite in this respect, 17 ; Mass of Holy Saturday — its peculiar 
wording — how explained, 18; meaning of the expression "dies 
obitus seu depositionis " in the Mass of Requiem — why the de- 
parted souls are commemorated on the third, seventh, thirtieth 
day and anniversary of their death, 14 ; first Mass, by whom cele- 
brated—when, where, and in what language, 18, 19; the nine 
different languages in which it is celebrated to-day — brief account 
of each, 21 to 28 ; must be said fasting— antiquity of this discipline 
— exceptions which it admitted formerly, 177; practice of the 
Oriental Church in this respect, 178; the priest who celebrates 
must wear shoes — those of the Nestorian Rite celebrate in naked 
feet after the manner of the Jewish high-priest — ancient rules 
regarding the color of the shoes worn while celebrating, 176; 
Mass in the Eastern Church — rules regarding its celebration — 
daily Mass very rare in the East — Dry Mass of the Nestorians, 
170; Armenian discipline, 171; why Mass is said in Latin, 33; 
the missionaries of China say it with caps on — who granted this 
privilege, and why, 56; ancient custom of saying Mass for the 
dead at any time of the day, fasting or not fasting — Evening Mass 
in the Oriental Church, 11 ; Midnight Mass in Russia and in the 
Eastern Church, 12 ; where Mass ended in ancient times, 532. 

Mayence, council of — what it decreed regarding Solitary Masses, 9. 

Memento for the dead, 343 ; ancient customs, 344 ; dissertation on the 
word "sleep" as used here instead of "death," 344, 345; how the 
faithful departed are prayed for in the Eastern Church — speci- 
mens of the beautiful prayers used, 345 to 347. 

Memento for the living — who may be prayed for here — ancient rites, 

Micrologus, 191. 

Minor doxology — see Gloria Patri. 

Minor elevation — when it takes place, 353. 

Mishna, 146, 188. 

" Missa Papae Marcelli " — history of this Mass, 99. 

Missal— how printed — where it begins, 139; how supported — spiritual 
signification of the cushion, 140— ancient missals — author of the 
first one, 140, 141 ; full history of the missal now in use, 142, 143 j 
missals of the Oriental Church, 143, 144. 

Monophysites— origin and application of the word — how they make the 
sign of the cross, and why, 26, 184. 

Monstrance — its various names — what used for — when first introduced 

General Index, 411 

77, 78 ; its early form — the kind now used by the Cistercians of 
France — what its present shape recalls to mind— its material, 79. 

Moors, or Mauri, 109. 

Moslem — same as Mussulman. 

Motet — origin and application, 270. 

Mount Athos — its monasteries — the Holy Mountain of the Easter? 
Church, 150. 

Mozarabic Liturgy — its full history, 108 to 110. 

Mozart's Mass of Requiem — 228. 

"Munda por meum," 231. 

Music, sacred — to whom we are principally indebted for its introduction 
into the Christian Church — to whom for its preservation, 95 ; the 
eight modes of Greek music, 96 ; full history of the Gregorian 
Chant, 96 to 99 ; musical instruments not in use with the Car- 
thusians, Cistercians, Lyonese, or in any of the churches of the 
East, nor are they used in the Papal choir, 100. 

Mussulman — see Islam. 

Nails — the number by which our Lord was fastened to the cross; — history 
of these nails, 129. 

Nestorians — why so called — their other names, 24; their missals, 144. 

Nicasa — council held there — history of its transactions — Constantino the 
Great attends it— description of him, 251, 252. 

Nilometer, 214 

" Nobis quoque peccatoribus," 347; why silence is broken here, 348. 

(Ecumenical — derivation and application of this word, 256. 

Offertory — why so called — early practice regarding it — rules regarding 
the offerings presented at this place, 266 ; where the ancient cus- 
tom is yet kept up — how long it continued before abrogated— 
order in which the offerings were presented, 267 ; what was done 
with the surplus, 268 ; horses and the armorial bearings of knights 
and nobles sometimes offered in Masses for the dead, 269 ; why 
in the oblation of the chalice the plural form is used instead of 
the singular, 278; Offertorium in Masses for the dead — defence 
and explanation of its true meaning, 270 to 272; Offertory in 
the Oriental Church, 283, 284. 

;mophorion, or Homophorion — why so called — its material and resem- 
blance to our pallium — all Greek bishops wear it — its mystic 
meaning, 240. 

Orarium — ancient name of the stole— -origin of the word, 48. 

" Orate fratres " — ancient mode of saying it and the variations it admit* 
ted — how said in the Sarum Rite, 282. 

Order of the Thistle, 313. 

Organ— when first introduced into the Christian Church, and by whom 

412 General Index. 

— the monster organ of the ancient Cathedral of Winchester, in 
England, 100, 101. 

Orsini, Cardinal — supposed author of the " Dies Irae," 226. 

Palestrina — his reai name — what he did for church music — brief history 
of his labors, 99. 

Pall — its material, dimensions, use — when introduced — Carthusian cus- 
tom, 85. 

" Pange lingua " — its author, 78. 

Panhagia — the pectoral cross of the Eastern bishops. 47. 

Papal choir — see Sacred Music. 

Papal cross — see Cross. 

Paschal time — its limits in England, Ireland, and the United States, 372. 

Paten — its material — size in ancient times — the kind used by the 
Orientals — appalling punishment of a nobleman who washed his 
feet in one, 77 — why the subdeacon takes the paten from the 
altar at the Offertory and holds it up before his face until after 
the "Paternoster," 273. 

"Pater noster," 355; meaning of its short preface — how the Orientalr 
recite it — how the Mozarabics — sequence of this prayer, 356. 

Patriarch of Alexandria says Mass with cap on, 57; Patriarch of tht 
Nestorians does the same thing, 57 ; the old title of patriarch yet 
retained in the Latin Church — names of the twelve sees that are 
luled by patriarchs at the present day, 128. 

Pax, or kiss of peace, 363 ; ceremonies attending it — ancient customs 
regarding it, 364, 365— Pax in the Oriental Church, 366. 

" Pax yobis " — why said by the bishop — its history, 208, 209. 

Pectoral cross — what it was originally — that of Pope Gregory the Great 
— substitute for it used by the Oriental bishops, 47. 

Pergolesi — his famous "Stabat Mater," 99. 

Pictures — used instead of statues all through the East, and why, 94. 

Post-Communio, 386. 

Preface — why so called — why the priest does not turn to the people here 
when he says "Dominus vobiscum," 288; what the Mozarabics 
call it — number formerly in use, 289; number in use to-day- 
remarks on the sublime Preface of the Blessed Trinity, 290, 
291; miraculous Preface of the Blessed Virgin — when inserted 
among the others, and by whom, 291, 292 — Preface of the Ori- 
ental Church, 293. 

Prof aners of sacred vessels and vestments — how punished by the hand 
of God, 80, 81, 82. 

Purgatory — how styled by the Orientals, 346, 347. 

Puriflcator— called also mundatory — its material and dimensions — whe* 
introduced—what the Greeks use as puriflcator, and why, 84, $0. 

General Index. 413 

Pyx— what it is used for, 89; its shape — how carried on the person, 90. 

Relics — by whom placed in the altar — when — how many — why, 122; 
Holy Eucharist used to be inserted very often in iormer times, 
123 ; a letter supposed to have been written by the Blessed Virgin 
inserted in the cathedral altar at Messina— copy of this curious 
document and its history, 124, 125 — relics inserted by the Ori 
entals, 125. 

Rheims, council of — its decree concerning the chalice and paten, 72. 

Kites, varying, within the Church, 103 to 112. 

Rubric — origin and meaning of the word, 139. 

Saints, worship of, in the Oriental Church, 321. 

Sarum Rite, 187. 

Sancta Sophia, or Church of Holy Wisdom, at Constantinople— its his- 
tory, 115. 

Schismatic— origin and application of the word, 303. 

Secretae, or secret prayers — why so called — different opinions regarding 
the origin of their name, 282, 283. 

Sequence — full history of the sequences — of those also in use with the 
Orientals, 223 to 231. 

Sermon — full history of it in ancient times — why the early Fathers had 
to be so reserved in preaching on the Blessed Eucharist — short- 
hand writers in ancient times — preaching in the Oriental Church 
241 to 247. 

Shechinah — what the rabbins meant by it — its origin, 190. 

Sibyls — their history, and the value placed upon their responses by some 
of the early Fathers, 229, 230. 

Sponge — used by the Greeks instead of a purificator like ours — why, 85. 

Stole, 46, 47, 48; stole worn by the Pope, 48. 

Strainer — used in pouring the wine into the chalice in early times, 286. 

Sura — the chapters of the Koran, so called — their number, 31. 

" Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas n — remarks upon this prayer, 281. 

Symbol— its full history, 249 to 257; how the Carthusians and others 
recite it — how said in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jeru^ 
salem — to what Masses the Symbol is proper, 264 

Tabernacle — its form — full particulars concerning it, 137, 138. 

Talmud, 146 ; the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian, ibid, 

Targum— origin of the name — different targums at present in existence, 
31, 144. 

Thurible — full history of it — ancient customs regarding it, 93, 94. 

Tones — the eight tones of Greek music — character of each, 96. 

Tonsure — different forms in ancient times, 57; present discipline — ho\» 
the ceremony is performed — what the privileges of tonsure are 

414 General Index 

Tract — why so called, 223. 

Trikerion — triple candle used by Greek bishops for blessing the peopia 

tJsher — his erroneous notions about saying Mass in the vernaoular ; 29. 
Vestments — their various colors, 62 to 68. 
Vartabed — an Armenian monastic priest, 305. 
Waters of jealousy — history of this ordeal, 14, 15. 
Wine— what sort required at Mass, 165 ; care bestowed upon it by the 

Orientals, 166. 
Zucchetto — its form— color — when worn at Mass — privilege granted tf 

bishops regarding its color by Pope Pius IX., 57, 58, 59. 

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O'Brien, John, 

A history of the mass 

and its ceremonies in 
AKD-0301 (mcsk)